The Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council has threatened to resist the government’s community mining program instituted in the Akyem area and other places in Ghana.
According to the traditional council, the program which was introduced to regulate illegal small scale mining nationwide has rather further degraded lands and caused pollution to water bodies in the Abuakwa area.
The overlord of Akyem Abuakwa, Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin who was addressing the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Acheampong, who paid a courtesy call on him said he will personally lead a campaign against the program since it has become worse than the illegal small-scale mining it was seeking to address.
“We understand all documents and licence needed for one to undertake mining rest in the bosom of the President in Accra, so if one obtains the licence then he will then bring it to the DCE at the local level where normally durbars are held to inform the people, but the chiefs do not have any say in it. When all is said, these guys will then approach the chiefs informing them about their acquired licence to mine in the community and will just present something small for the chiefs, but the chiefs will then be blamed after lands and water bodies are destroyed in the process”.
“Just recently I was here when the sector minister came talking about community mining and I told him point-blank not to come and deceive the chiefs because there is nothing better in community mining because it is similar to galamsey. They use the same method to cause destruction to the land but just that this has been described as a policy from government”.
“We are coming to rise up against that policy, and we will not agree to the community mining initiative because if the Birim becomes polluted, the blame is not brought to the doorstep of the MCE but the chiefs and the President. So we have advised ourselves because we have talked about this severally and nothing has been done about it. No one can issue a mining licence to someone without letting traditional authorities who are custodians of the land know about that arrangement”.
Okyenhene who also raised concerns about uncovered pits which have been left unreclaimed called on government to immediately engage the traditional council on a reclamation policy.
“There are a lot of uncovered pits and lands that have not been reclaimed across the communities are dangerous to human lives especially our children. We want to have a meeting with you for us to get a reclamation policy. Peter Amewu and the Minister of Lands came to launch a reclamation program which we have not heard anything about again. It is not under the leadership of the president and the NPP that lands and water bodies will be destroyed, so we need to put a stop to it”.
“People come all the way from Niger and Burkina Faso to engage in illegal mining. They come here in track fully loaded with them, and they engage in all negatives and if the MCE and Government can’t resolve it then we have a challenge”.