By Samuel Akapule, GNA
Accra, April 24, GNA -The Development Research and Advocacy Centre (DRAC), a Non-Governmental Organisation in northern Ghana has called on government not to be dissuaded by the threats issued by some citizens on the fight against illegal small scale mining activities.
« The threat of voter disaffection from the illegal mining communities must not detract the government’s attention from this trajectory of national importance, for, those who support this course and in whose interest the fight against illegal mining is on ».
A press statement issued and signed by Mr Aberinga Milton, Programmes Manager of the Organisation and copied to the Ghana News Agency stressed that it was very shocking news to hear some prominent members from some institutions calling on government to stop the fight against the phenomenon.
« We condemn unequivocally, the appeal made by some Chiefs to government to give illegal miners a chance. As custodians of our sacred culture, tradition and God-given resources, our Chiefs have a duty to protect our eco-system. It therefore comes as a shock to us when some of them are pleading with government to give chance for the wanton destruction of our God given natural resources for selfish reasons », the statement stressed.
The statement indicated, « DRAC wishes to urge the government not to be detracted by the unfortunate and unpatriotic comments of some Ghanaians who appear to be sitting on the fence when the larger population of this country has expressed their passion and resolve to end illegal mining in Ghana. DRAC considers the ultimatum given by government to some groups and individuals as apt. »
It stressed that the very survival of the environment, especially the country’s water bodies was already threatened by the effects of global warming and indicated that many countries around the globe were developing and implementing strategies in order to take control of the welfare of their people.
The NGO further expressed concern about the spate of pollution of drinking water sources and the wanton destruction of the forests by their activities all in the name of seeking wealth, and warned that if stringent measures were not put in place to tackle the menace, a time will come when water would become more expensive.
Whilst commending the government, the security agencies and the media for leading the crusade against the phenomenon, it called on government to beware of some selfish government officials, the security agencies and traditional rulers who would want to undermine the course.
It stressed the need for the security agencies and the judiciary to rally strongly behind the government and the media could play key role by intensifying their efforts at exposing individuals and groups who were behind the scenes destroying the environment.
25 April. 17