The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, has appealed to the Overlord of Mamprugu, Naa Bohigu Abdullai Mahami Sheriga, for support in clamping down on illegal mining activities in Nanguma, a suburb of Mumprugu in the North East Region.
He explained that the lessons from the government’s current fight against the menace in the southern part of the country, was that any effort to curb the illegalities should be immediate, to prevent further escalation.
He, therefore, called on the chiefs and traditional leaders in the area to offer their unflinching support in the various interventions the government was rolling out to end illegal mining, commonly known as ‘galamsey.’
The Minister was speaking here at Nareligu in the North East Region when he paid a courtesy call on the chief (Nayiri) at his palace.
The visit formed part of Mr Jinapor’s week-long tour of the five regions in the northern part of the country.
He said the discovery of gold in northern parts of the country provided the opportunity for improved economic activities that would inure to growth and development in the various communities.
“The notion that minerals are only found in the south is a thing of the past. The Northern Region is so rich in minerals and is gradually becoming a mining hub. It provides another opportunity to maximise economic gains in the northern parts of our country,” Mr Jinapor added.
In addition to fighting illegal mining, the Minister noted that it was imperative that deforestation was tackled to save the forest cover of the area adding that “the current wanton attack on the forest is a threat to our lives.”
He explained that deforestation without afforestation would lead to the creation of deserts, and expressed gratitude to the Nayiri for the support during the National Tree Planting exercise and called on Ghanaians to nurture the trees planted.
On his part, the Nayiri pledged his unwavering commitment to the Minister in the fight against illegal mining and deforestation particularly in the region.
He noted that the palace was disturbed by illegal mining operations at Nanguma, adding that the situation was depriving the people of their livelihood, especially due to destruction of their agricultural farmlands
The Overload applauded the Minister for the gains made under his tenure and assured of his support to ensure the government succeeds.
FROM CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS, NALERIGU