Galamsey: We have a joint responsibility to protect lands – Akufo-Addo tells Chiefs

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has told the National House of Chiefs that the task to protect the lands and the environment from the effect of illegal small scale mining (Galamsey) is a joint responsibility between the government and the traditional authorities.

Mr Akufo-Addo explained during a meeting with the Chiefs in Kumasi on Wednesday October 5 that 80 per cent of the lands in Ghana  are in the custody of the chiefs.

This means that they have a role to play in protecting the resource, he said.

He said “80 per cent of the lands in this country continue to be under your custody, much of it having been acquired through the blood and sacrifices of your ancestors. The reminder of 20 per cent which I hold in trust of the people of Ghana, derived from state acquisition  from you. What this means is that ultimately, the welfare of the state of the lands is our  joint responsibility, although by statute the minerals in the soil belong to the president in trust for the people.”

The chiefs on their part assured Mr Akufo-Addo that they are solidly behind his administration to apply appropriate measures against all persons involved in Galamsey in the country.

President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyeb indicated that galamsey is having a negative effect on the environment and also threatens revenue mobilsation in the country hence, their resolve to support the President and government in fighting it.

He said “your relentless war against forest degradation and illegal mining in Ghana is of great importance to Ghanaians especially we the chiefs.

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“The effects of illegal mining on the environment threaten the survival of water bodies , farmlands, cocoa industry and even encouraging school dropouts, this undermins the revenue mobilsation drive in the country.

“In view of this development [the Chiefs] are solidly behind your administration to apply the appropriate sanctions against persons who are engaged in the practice illegal mining irrespective of their status.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana