According to the minister of lands and natural resources, the battle against illegal mining (Galamsey) cannot be won as long as politicians and other key players continue to take positions that support the offenders.
Samuel Abu Jinapor noted that the battle could only be won collectively while speaking at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology's (KNUST) 40th anniversary of the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources.
"If natural resource managers, forest managers, security guards, and other professionals collude with the very people they are supposed to be enforcing government policies and laws against, we will not advance.
"If elected to office, opposition political party leaders cannot promise to free all imprisoned illegal miners and allow them to resume mining. Likewise, it is unacceptable if members of the ruling party put their own political or financial interests ahead of this conflict. Before this battle can be won, partisan politics must be put aside.
The minister did not hold back when he accused local officials and traditional leaders of being complicit in the threat.
"I come from a Palace and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that in most cases, no one brings an excavator to mine in a forest or a changfang to work on a river body in a community without the knowledge or passive approval of the chief, elders, opinion leaders, assemblymen, and local authorities in the community. We need to start being upfront about the situation we are in. It is the sincere truth." he said
According to the constitution, the President is entrusted with holding the minerals in trust for the people. So chiefs cannot do much about it”
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the second Asantehene, disagrees with the accusation that chiefs are responsible for illegal mining.
Meanwhile, the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources at KNUST has been tasked with developing sustainable management plans for the country's natural resources.
The Theme for the anniversary is “40 years of training natural resources managers: A new age for a new focus”.
As part of their efforts to improve natural resource manager training, the alumni intend to build a 300-seat computer and GIS laboratory for the faculty.
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