Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs) in the Eastern Region have been warned to stay away from all issues that bother on illegal mining popularly called (galamsey) in the region.
Mr Eric Kwakye Darfuor, Eastern Regional Minister, who gave the warning at a meeting of the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) stressed that illegal mining was causing huge devastation to water bodies and plantations in the region and therefore needed all hands on deck.
The Regional Minister disclosed that “I have had to defend some of you municipal and district chief executives in high places for your perceived involvement in this galamsey activities”.
He said official records indicated that municipal and district assemblies did not benefit from any illegal mining, but rather caused problems for socio-economic development in their respective areas and warned them to be circumspect and careful in even dealing with illegal miners who come with businesses in disguise.
The Regional Minister said government was bent on ending the galamsey menace and would not tolerate any appointee who got involved, mentioning the huge cost of reclamation of the lands that had been destroyed and that of the destroyed livelihoods of the people in the affected communities.
He called on traditional leaders to also support government to stamp out the illegal miners adding that “these foreigners and full blooded Ghanaians who destroy our land and water bodies due to galamsey live in the communities with you, you give them the land to mine and places to stay as well”.
The meeting was attended by all MDCEs, Municipal and District Coordinating Directors and Planning Officers, Presiding Members, Heads of decentralized departments and agencies and heads of the various security agencies in the region to discuss matters pertaining to development in the region.
Mr Felix Addo-Okyireh, Eastern Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said it was unfortunate that despite the government’s ban on illegal mining, the menace continued in most areas in the region and called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders to address the situation.
He said systems had not been allowed to work especially in the area of reclamation, thereby leaving death-trap holes uncovered in areas as a result of galamsey and also called on the MDCEs not to meddle in the affairs of galamsey activities as a strategy to stamp out the menace in the region.