Feature Article of Sunday, 1 July 2012
Columnist: Thompson, Kofi
Good News For Ghana's Environmental Activists
By Kofi Thompson
The recent statement by the Chinese government, asking for the arrest of Chinese nationals engaged in illegal activities in Africa - such as illegal gold mining and logging - seems to have somehow empowered part of Ghanaian officialdom.
An example of this new empowerment, is the recent arrest of some Spanish citizens and their Ghanaian partner, by the police at Anyinam, in Akyem Abuakwa.
That definitely is positive change from past experience in the Eastern Region - where the most powerful individuals in the wealthy criminal syndicates that operate there, were virtually untouchable.
They raped the natural environment in Akyem Abuakwa with ruthless abandon, and destroyed its natural heritage with complete impunity.
The devastation wrought by the selfish activities of illegal gold miners and loggers, across a vast swathe of the Ghanaian countryside, in the forest-belt, is scandalous and a national tragedy of apocalyptic proportions.
Alas, gold seems to trigger off the worst in those driven mostly by unfathomable greed. That confounded metal seems to evoke the worst in so many in our country today - especially now its price has reached historically high and unprecedented levels.
If officialdom now feels sufficiently empowered to act to halt the many foreign criminals and their Ghanaian collaborators - all of them driven by avarice and who hitherto disregarded our country's laws and got away with it - that can only be good news, for all those patriotic Ghanaian environmental activists, who care deeply about preserving what is left of Ghana's natural heritage.
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