(B/A) March 30, GNA - Osagyefo Oseadeyo Agyemang Badu II, the Paramount Chief of Dormaa Traditional
Area, on Wednesday, threatened to identify chiefs who condone illegal mining in
their communities for their destoolment.
He said he was adequately prepared and committed to fighting and bringing to an end to the galamsey menace, which had caused considerable and widespread damage to farmlands, forest reserves and rivers in the area, by using the powers vested in him as the Paramount chief without fear or favour.
The chief stated: “While I give this stern warning and directive to destool any chief who looks on for a portion of his land to be used for illegal mining, I would want you to carefully note that, I also intend to step down as the Paramount Chief if I’m found culpable and conniving with these illegal miners because the law is binding on all of us”.
Osagyefo Agyemang Badu was speaking at a meeting with some members of the security agencies, Municipal Chief Executives and District Chief Executives of Dormaa East and West, Presiding Members, religious leaders, members of the media, opinion leaders, Public and Civil Servants, assembly members and traditional rulers at Abanpredease in Dormaa Ahenkro in the Dormaa Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The meeting was aimed at affording the opinion leaders and other influential persons an opportunity to discuss and share their views on how best they could fight and bring to illegal mining to an end.
Oseadeyo Agyemang Badu expressed his determination to find financial resources to refill a number of huge pits, which had become death traps as a result of the activities of the illegal miners.
The Dormaahene promised to reward assembly members, and their localities, with half of the fine awarded as penalty if they uncovered, identified and reported the activities of illegal miners, and called on all and sundry to support efforts at combating the menace.
“Most of Dormaa lands were stool lands, as to whether galamsey operators collected permit or not I’m not privy to such information,” he stated.
Mr Gordon Asubonteng, the Dormaa Municipal Executive, said although the Constitution permitted the harnessing of natural resources, such as mineral resources from the land, such resources could be tapped or harnessed when an individual had followed the due process of law, using appropriate channels and procedures to obtain official licenses.
He said the law required that small scale miners engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility in operational areas to reclaim lands used and avoid the use of harmful chemicals in their operations, however, those directives and regulations were seriously flouted, undermined and forfeited by illegal miners.
The Omanhene and his entourage later visited Kyeremasu, Wamanafo, and Dormaa Akwamu where illegal mining have taken place to familiarise himself with the activities there and to assess the extent of damage and destruction caused through the activities.