The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has said he is not happy with his chiefs in the Amansie area where illegal mining also known as Galamsey has taken over the landscape destroying forest and other vegetation cover.
Otumfuo made the statement while speaking at the official launching of the 2023 Green Ghana day event in Kumasi ahead of the project on 9th June 2023 across the country.
He said’’ as you know a couple of days ago I returned from London, where I added the coronation of Prince Charles the III whose number one legacy is perhaps his commitment to afforestation, reforestation and the fight against climate change. Interestingly my private conversation with him was on land reclamation in Ghana and he agreed to collaborate with me for us to do that. He directed his technical team to my team to formulate a policy to help Ghana reclaim some of our lands that are destroyed by illegal mining (Galamsey)’’ he disclosed.
Before the launched of Ministry of lands and Natural Resource and the Ghana Forestry Commission Green Ghana Day Project, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has already commenced planting trees to protect the environment by planting 2.5 million tears on 6000 hector land towards the protection of Lake Bosomtwe the largest natural lake in the country.
This declaration was made by Otumfuo because of the important premium he attaches to protection to human life and the protection of the lake.
He said tree planting is now becoming his hobby because of the tremendous contribution it makes to the environment, climate change mitigation and improvement of livelihood for members of the French communities.
He said’’ when old men plant trees society grows great and I have been doing that with my girl and I told her I will never sit under it but she will sit under the tree and for the past two years she has done that with me. we have two trees at the golf park she has nurtured one and I have also natured one’’
He commended Ashanti region for nurturing the higher number of trees thus 7.8 million out of over 31 million with of trees planted nationwide within two years and the trees are doing well. This he said means “our sacrifices are not in vain and being wasted’’.
He said it is not for nothing forests are called the lungs of the earth stressing without forest our lives on earth indicating for without forest our lives on the planets will be impossible.
Apart from the health benefits forest contributes significantly to nationals economies, however, the reality is that the country’s forest resources are under serious threat from several environmental challenges including illegal mining, the headache of Ghana, illegal logging deforestation, forest degradation, land degradation, climate Change, oil erosion and many other factors.
Goal 15 of the United nation sustainable development goals aim to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of the terrestrial ecosystem, sustainably manage first, combat desertification halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity laws.
However, the Asantehene is worried despite several measures the government has been putting to curb this menace illegal mining and illegal logging continue to pose threat to the country’s forest reserves.
This he said means the government cannot alone, he encourages Ghanaian to get involved to support the government to tackle the matter before that country.
He further added, “we all have to take the matter seriously to bring the issue to a closure, because I cannot accept that. I’m going to take a drive around those areas in the Amansie to Manso Nkwanta and all areas to see. I have gotten a report about what is happening there and I’m going to do that’’ he stressed.
He added “end if I finish with that, all the chiefs around that area may have to answer as to why that happened. I was alarmed to hear during the minister press briefing weeks a go that the forest reserves in the Asante Bekwai forest reserve including the Oda river, Subin shelter belt and Aprampram forest reserve are the most forest reserves to control due to the activities of gun-wielding illegal miners and loggers’’
He this unfortunate development cannot continue” I have therefore charge the chiefs in those these areas to work with the forestry commission and the ministry of the lands and natural resources to find ways drive away the illegal miners and the loggers and I know Nananom some of them have benefited from the illegal miners.it is a fact that we have to accept and appreciate it government side too I know there are accusation over there they also have to fight it. We all have to fight it. We cannot hide under any thing by saying we don’t know what is happening’’ he noted.