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General News of Thursday, 6 May 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Burning of mining equipment in forest reserves timely and prudent – House of Chiefs President

Excavator on fire at a Forest Reserve Excavator on fire at a Forest Reserve

Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, the President of the National House of Chiefs says it is timely and prudent for the government to burn mining equipment in the forests.

According to him, the government’s decision to stop galamsey needs the support of all and sundry, but not criticism.

Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II made this call when the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, John Allotey, paid a courtesy call on him at his palace at Sefwi Anhwiaso.

“We should all come together and drive these people from the forests and river bodies. The government has been criticized for burning mining equipment in the forests. Some suggest the equipment could be put to use for the benefit of the country. I disagree with these criticisms,” he said.

“Do you remember the story of the 400 seized excavators? How would we account for many if we cannot even account for those few ones that were seized?”

He further pledged the support of the National House of Chiefs to the fight against illegal mining.

“Nananom who are owners of the land, including the ‘Adikrofo’ must also be involved in the grant of the licences so that we would be able to identify which company is working in Area A or B”, he continued.

“Nananom in that vein should also be part of the enforcement group. So please any Nana who knows something about it; if you have the evidence, name him and Nananom will sit up.”

The team from the Forestry Commission was in the Western North Region to ascertain compliance with the government’s ban on mining in forest reserves and water bodies.

They visited the Odaw Forest, Subin and Bosomtwe Forest Reserves, parts of which traverse the Ashanti region.

Except for Odaw which had three excavators on-site, the rest were empty as miners had evacuated their equipment.

The Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Commission, John Allotey, commended Ogyeahohoo Gyebi for his support in the preservation of forest resources including the distribution of free tree seedlings to residents in the area.

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