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There is no alternative but to fight illegal gold mining

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 Source: Thompson, Kofi

I was flabbergasted to hear that the minister for environment, science and technology, the Hon. Ayariga, had made a statement recently, which implied in effect that local authorities have more or less lost the fight against illegal gold mining across the country.

Why such defeatist nonsense-on-bamboo-stilts? Why does that genuis think Ghanaians elected the regime of which he is such a prominent member, to govern Ghana, in the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections?

It is vital that those who govern this country understand clearly that they have a moral obligation to protect what is left of our nation's natural heritage - so that the younger generation, their children and children's children, can at the very least enjoy the same quality of life, if not better, as present-day Ghanaians do, tomorrow.

That is how the fight against illegal gold mining, illegal logging and illegal sand-winning ought to be seen by officialdom - as urgently needed action to protect the well-being of future generations: and a battle to prevent an apocalyptic future in which vast swathes of the landmass of Ghana become unihabitable.

And at a time when international terrorist groups have extended their footprint to our part of Africa, our ruling elites need to see the connexion between terrorist groups' need for cash, and the pillage of natural resources in the nations they target - and how that could lead to possible alliances with the lawless elements in the criminal syndicates behind most of the illegal sand'winning, gold mining and illegal logging in this country.

Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

The Hon. Ayariga's defeatist attitude will only hasten the day when terrorist groups finally take up illegal gold mining, illegal logging and illegal sand-winning in Ghana, to fund their activities in our sub-region.

The question is: Do we all not have a moral obligation to prevent terrorists groups from establishing a foothold in our country by stamping out environmental-crimes - and ensuring that future generations can at the very least enjoy the same quality of life enjoyed by present-day Ghanaians, if not much better?

We have no alternative but to fight those who engage in illegal gold mining, illegal logging and illegal sand-winning - lest they destroy all the lands on which our food is grown: by poisoning soils, streams, rivers and groundwater sources across Ghana, and end up turning this bountiful and mostly-beautiful landmass we inhabit into a hell on earth in which life for our people becomes unbearable and impossible.

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

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