Western Region Minister Kwabena Otchere Darko Mensah is courting the support of the Regional House of Chiefs in helping find a lasting solution to the illegal small-scale mining scourge, which he says is causing unfathomable destruction to the environment.
He described as regrettable the currently over “70 sites in the region sitting on your lands doing galamsey”.
Nonetheless, Mr. Darko Mensah is convinced that government’s fight against the scourge will be further enhanced should traditional leaders pledge their unwavering support for it since they have a certain hold over the people in their various areas of jurisdiction.
“We believe that the Chieftaincy institution can play a major role in the fight against galamsey. I would like to invite you on board this mission to eliminate galamsey in the Western Region.”
Addressing the Regional House of Chiefs on a working visit of the Energy Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the regional minister explained that government has tasked Regional Coordinating Councils to lead in the renewed fight against illegal small-scale mining and therefore “would like to invite you to bring whatever ideas and resources to help us fight this menace and win”.
He informed the House that already work has started on the Pra River, the Amanzuri River, the Ankobra River and the Whin River, all in the region, and expressed confidence that the fight will be won this time around.
The Regional Minister echoed the significance of chiefs in the development drive of any area and particularly in the region.
He said as the Western Region strives to become the model region in the country, the inputs of chiefs can never be ignored.
“As I continue to say, the Western Region wants to be the model region of Ghana and one of our cardinal pillars is a governance system where our Chiefs will play a major role in the inputs that we will use in developing the region.”
But he expressed regret that this vision cannot be achieved when Chieftaincy issues continue to plague the region.
“I’ve been here and I’ve said it time and again that the Western Region holds the key to Ghana’s development. A region that contributes over 50 percent to the country’s GDP is no small a region. And as you are aware chiefs play a major part of how the national cake is shared in this country. And naturally, a house divided itself will definitely not be able to bring into this region what the region properly deserves”.
He, therefore, “appealed to you to, no matter what the circumstances, use your traditional knowledge to solve your problems in this house”.