Portion of the Bosomtwe Range Forest Reserve destroyed through illegal mining operations

Deputy Lands Minister, Benito Owusu-Bio, has revealed that illegal mining is endemic in the Bosome Freho district of the Ashanti region, especially in the Bosomtwe Range Forest Reserve.

He said this when he led a team of officers from the Ministry – including the CEO of the Forestry Commission – on a visit to the Reserve on August 22, 2022.

The visit followed an intervention by the military task force to flush out illegal miners who had destroyed several hectares of the forest.

“Bosomtwe Range Forest Reserve in the Bosome Freho district…this is the third time I am actually coming to this port and I think this place is very endemic with illegal [mining] activities,” he observed.

The Reserve has become a hotbed for illegal mining activities in recent times as sections of it have been targeted by galamsey operators.

Mr Owusu-Bio was unhappy there had been little support from the District Security Committee in the area, headed by Yaw Danso, to the illegal mining fight.

Illegal mining very endemic in Bosome Freho district - Lands Ministry
Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Benito Owusu-Bio

“The district security, the district assembly must be up and doing because they are here. We in Accra cannot come here all the time. They must be up and doing, they must cooperate with district managers and that will help,” he added.

This was the fourth time in a year the Forestry Commission had responded to the operations of illegal miners in the Bosome Freho District.

Questions remain unanswered why the portion of the Bosomtwe Range Forest Reserve is a hotbed for illegal miners.

DCE summoned

The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Bosome Freho, Yaw Danso, has been summoned by the Local Government Minister over his alleged involvement in illegal mining.

He is said to have been engaged in dealings and transactions linked to mining concessions in the district.

Mr Danso, however, is yet to respond to the summon.

President Akufo-Addo revealed this during a meeting with Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in Kumasi on Wednesday, October 5.

“Your colleague in Bosome Freho has been summoned by the Minister for Local Government to come and answer [questions over the public accusations], and depending on the quality of his response we will decide what the future holds for him,” the President said.

According to Mr Akufo-Addo, other claims involving leaked audio in which the DCE is heard claiming some percentage from a share of mining concession would be investigated thoroughly.

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