THE Paramount Chief of Wassa FiaseTraditional Area in the Tarkwa Nsuaem District of the Western Region, Odeneho Akrofa Krukoko II, has warned chiefs and traditional office holders in the Wassa enclaves to desist from the habit of engaging in illegal small-scale mining activities popularly known as galamsey.
Odeneho Akrofa Krukoko II, who doubles as the President of the Wassa FiaseTraditional Council, detailed that most of the chiefs and traditional leaders in the Wassa communities were directly and indirectly engaging in illegal small-scale mining activities despite the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s directive to halt galamsey which was depleting the effectiveness of the natural resources.
He could not understand why some chiefs and traditional leaders remained adamant of helping the government to flush out defiant ‘galamseyers.’
He stated that some ‘big men,’ chiefs, traditional office holders and politicians who own concessions were those encouraging the act.
Odeneho Akrofa Krukoko II, who was disturbed by the level of devastation and degradation of the environment and pollution of water bodies, therefore, called on his fellow chiefs to assist President Akufo-Addo to end the galamsey menace.
He averred that the Pra River, Ankobra River and the Densu River which were very clean have now been turned into stagnant mud.”
He continued that it was “our duty as traditional leaders to stand by the president and help him fight against galamsey in the country.
He indicated that “miners can go for permits from Minerals Commission from anywhere they want but they cannot operate on their sites without our approval, we cannot allow people to mine in or close to water bodies because we are the custodians of the land and we owe our subjects that responsibility to protect the lands and natural environment for them.”
He then entreated all chiefs to join the national campaign against galamsey.
“We may not see the damming effects of this galamsey now but trust me our future generations will put all the blame on us if they face difficulty in accessing potable water. The only legacy we can give our children and grandchildren is to protect the environment now for them for it to be habitable in future so all my fellow traditional leaders should join the fight to stop galamsey now,” he urged.
Speaking in exclusive interview with Today yesterday to throw light on the recent judgement by the Appeal Court in Sekondi-Takoradi to reinstate his chieftaincy status, Odeneho Akrofa Krukoko II used the opportunity to ask chiefs and traditional leaders to use their influence to help government.
As dangerous as galamsey is, he said there was the need for a collective effort from all stakeholders to support government battle it before it goes out of hand.
The chief, therefore, advised that the youth against being used for galamsey.
Acknowledging the contribution of traditional leaders to the development of the country, the paramount chief called on the government to empower chiefs to ‘go hard’ on illegal small scale mining activities in their respective communities.
He reminded the youth in the area of several interventions rolled out by him to provide jobs to the teeming unemployed youth, assuring that they have nothing to regret if all the flagship interventions were implemented and kick-started.
“Very soon, all my flagship projects, particularly the Wassa FiaseTraditional Area Education Endowment Fund would be implemented to put smiles on the faces of the youth. And this educational fund as l am back as the paramount chief of the area will benefit thousands of the youth.”