The Western North Regional Minister, Richard Joojo Obeng, has called on Ghanaians to support the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s fight against illegal small-scale mining, which is destroying the country’s water bodies and forest reserves.
He said water bodies and forest reserves should be made no-go areas when it comes to mining.
Speaking on Face to Face on Citi TV, Mr. Joojo Obeng stated that there’s no justification for mining in water bodies and forest reserves.
“We have all decided as a nation to go by the roadmap which the President, through his sector Minister, put out. We should, at this stage in our national life, be able to zone certain parts of Ghana as red zone areas where mining activities mustn’t take place. Why should somebody be seen mining in the middle of a river to destroy the aquatic life of that water body? There cannot be any justification. Even though you want to extract natural resources, we must not kill the aquatic life.”
“We should also be able to say to ourselves that within our forest reserves, we should not allow for mining activities that could endanger very valuable species. If you take the Bia forest reserve in Western North Region, it is the only forest reserve that hosts the white-breasted guinea fowl. If we allow mining to take place in that reserve, that bird will be unable to coexist with that kind of activity and will go extinct. If this happens, we may not only be denied of it as a tourism potential, but we will also be denying the whole of the West African Region that tourism income that will make people travel to come and understudy or research on it. We should all agree and support the President that at no time should mining take place on our water bodies, forest reserves,” he added.
Mr. Obeng stated that the President is not against mining, especially because of its contribution to economic growth, but instead, he is fighting against the destruction of the future and foundation of the state, especially for economic gain.