Regional News Tue, 9 Aug 2011

Queenmother expresses concern about children in 'Galamsey' work

Hiawa (W/R), Aug. 9, GNA – Nanahemaa Asi Boadiwaa, Queenmother of Wassa Hiawa, has expressed concern about the high rate of school dropouts in the community due to illegal mining activities or “galamsey”.

“Many children in the community engage in illegal mining activities neglecting their education,” she said.

Nanahemaa Boadiwaa noted that this illegal activity had polluted the only source of potable drinking water in the community.

She said this when officials from the International Labour Organization (ILO) visited the Hiawa community to interact with traditional authorities and community members on the elimination of the worst forms of child labour in cocoa growing areas and to introduce the ILO’s new Cocoa Community Project (CCP).

Nanahemaa Boadiwaa said their activities had also destroyed farmlands in the community.

The Queenmother lamented that the teacher-student ratio in the community was low and asked for more teachers to be transferred to the community to enhance educational development.

She called on the Government and other stakeholders to come to the aid of the community and address some of these issues for the development of the area.

Mr Richard Gyapong, Assemblyman for Waasa Bekwai, said the community needed more educational infrastructure to make education accessible for all children.

He urged parents to understand the concepts of child labour better, since most children were used in cocoa production in the area, apparently depriving them of education.

Source: GNA