The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel A. Jinapor, yesterday called on queen mothers of the AsantemanTraditional Council to assist the government in the fight against illegal mining in their various traditional areas.
He said the fight against illegal mining was a collective one and as such cannot be won without the efforts and support of important stakeholders like queen mothers as he believed in the power women wield, particularly women with traditional authority.
Speaking at a meeting with the queen mothers in Kumasi on the sidelines of his one-day tour of the Ashanti Region, MrJinapor said “I have been here to court the support of the Otumfuo and the chiefs of Asanteman and it will be unacceptable on my part not to court your support because without you we cannot win this fight”.
He bemoaned how troubling the wanton destruction of lands and natural resources of the country, particularly river bodies have become rampant and implored the queen mothers to find ways to support the government to fight the destruction.
He reiterated government’s stance on mining activities in general saying that “government as I have always said is not against mining, we love our gold and other minerals and the jewellery we make out of them but what we are against is the illegal way of going about the act and that is what we want you to help us fight against”.
The Lands and Natural Resources Minister assured the queen mothers of government’s support, adding that he would ensure the Minerals Commission provided them with needed resources to engage in the combat against illegal mining and also assured to engage them in the Green Ghana Project in the coming year.
The queen mother of the MampongTraditional Area, Nana Agyakuma Difie, who spoke on behalf of the queen mothers assured the minister of their support and rallied the other queen mothers to support government in curbing the menace as she indicated that if the natural resources of the country deteriorate, it will go against them and their generations.
He requested the minister to support the queen mothers with all resources they may require to respond to their call of fighting against the menace.
The queen mothers who were drawn from Bono, Ahafo, Bono East, and Adansi collectively thanked the Lands Minister for the meeting and gave their comments to corroborate the plea made by the Mampong queen mother on their behalf.
In a related development, the minister made a whistle stop at the Kumasi Zoo where he tasked the Forestry Commission to as a matter of urgency refurbish the Kumasi Zoo with a walkway, summer huts and a facility to serve as staff changing room for workers.
Engaging the staff, he appreciated their efforts in keeping the Zoo running while encouraging them to keep up the good work and assured them of government’s commitment, adding that their challenges and welfare issues will be taken into active consideration.
Dr Meyir Yiyele Ziekah, the zoo manager and resident veterinary doctor at the zoo, thanked the minister for his visit and hoped that their challenges tabled before him will be addressed.