Let’s reinforce fight against galamsey!!!

It has now emerged that Ghana has lost over a million dollars in revenue since 2020 for its inability to meet the supply of the seeds of Khaya Ivorensis, also called African ma­hogany, because of deforestation due to illegal mining.

According to the National Tree Seed Centre (NTSC), its inability to supply the seeds to some individuals and only five organisations in Bra­zil, Malaysia and India, for example, denied the country $375,000 within the period.

The NTSC says galamsey is preventing Ghana from living up to its obligation as an international supplier of the Khaya Ivorensis seeds.

What this means is that if nothing urgent and drastic is done now, the country would lose its market share of the supply of the seeds to countries like

Angola, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Liberia and Nigeria, where the Khaya Ivorensis tree species also grows.

This information should prompt the whole country to the fact that if we take even only deforestation, illegal mining or galamsey is doing the country more harm than we have ever imagined.

For Mahogany alone, the country is losing consid­erable amount of revenue from just its seeds.

What about its medicinal, timber and other value?

This is to tell us that if we assess the loss or losses from other tree species due to galamsey, the priceless value would shock everyone beyond measure.

We are also losing other plant species like flowers, grasses, roots, fruits, legumes and twines, all of which have their peculiar uses.

Have you ever guessed that there are some food sources, including fruits and legumes, that are found only in the forest because that is the only place they thrive?

This means that such food sources would go extinct with the destruction or loss of the country’s forests.

The destruction of the country’s forests also means the loss of the habitats of animals which can survive only in the forests, including some birds and other arbore­al animals like squirrels.

Besides, the destruction of forests leads to the removal of the protection of certain sources of water such as wells, which eventually dry up.

More than ever before, the whole country must rise against galamsey in a force that the galamseyers cannot stand.

This is the time to give the fight against galamsey the maximum support and win it because the few galamseyers are doing the present and future generations of this country harm some of which either cannot be reserved or would take decades to do so.

While we are yet to win the galamsey fight, the gov­ernment, using the district assemblies, should see what it can do for farmland own­ers to stop them from giving their lands out for galamsey.

In a previous editorial, we stated that galamsey can be stopped with the collabora­tion of politicians, the securi­ty services and chiefs; today, we are adding land owners in general.

We also appeal that every bit of support should be given to the NTSC and the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-FORIG) in their research and other ac­tivities related to the storage of the seeds of tree species, preservation and regenera­tion of the country’s forests.

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