Okyehene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, has dismissed claims that he is against mining, stating he is rather against the over exploitation of natural resources and its associated negative environmental impact.
According to the overload of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional area in the Eastern Region, the ecotourism potential of the Atiwa rainforest and its ability to save the world from debilitating effect of climate change has attracted international attention hence the need to conserve the forest reserve to make it an ecotourism centre.
“There is no doubt that ecotourism has a great potential in Akyem. The Equatorial rainforest is the cynosure of the western world and now the focus of considerable environmental attention for its real and perceived ability to save the globe from self-destruction,” he explained.
Okyehene made the comments on Saturday during a durbar to climax the Ohum festival on the theme; “Taking Charge of Our Environment,” at Kyebi in the Eastern Region.
“While we vehemently condemn galamsey, let me get this straight, there is talk that I am against mining. It is not mining I am against its exploitation and unchecked abuses of poor people’s drinking water. “I’m against companies whose only motive is profit and fail to build new communities, yes I’m against destruction of pristine forest and degradation of indigenous people’s farm without paying adequate compensation,” he said.
The Okyehene further explained that he was also against “the slave wages multinational firms pay miners for doing the same job other miners do elsewhere. “The proponents of mining both locally and internationally would want you to believe that these pronouncements will drive away investors. Our answer to that is, let us engage mining that is responsible and sustainable,” he averred.
By Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu