President Akufo-Addo says the protection of the lands against illegal small-scale mining also known as galamsey should be the responsibility of the traditional rulers and the government.
Addressing the House of Chiefs at the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 President Akufo-Addo indicated that ownership of the lands rests with both the government and chiefs hence protecting it should be a collective one.
“80 percent 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 remainder of 20 percent 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 President explained.
He also pleaded for the support of the chiefs in applying stringent measures to curb the galamsey menace in the country.
President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi on his part bemoaned the effect of the galamsey activities on the environment.
“Your relentless war against forest degradation and illegal mining in Ghana is of great importance to Ghanaians especially we the chiefs. The effects of illegal mining on the environment threaten the survival of water bodies, farmlands, cocoa industry and even encouraging school dropouts. This undermines the revenue mobilization drive in the country.
“In view of this development, we are solidly behind your administration to apply the appropriate sanctions against persons who are engaged in the practice of illegal mining irrespective of their status,” he assured President Akufo-Addo.