The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, wants governemnt to reconsider the community mining initiative instituted by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Mining (IMCM) as an alternative to the illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.
While he casts doubt over adherence to best practices and responsible mining when the initiative is finally rolled out, the Akyem Abuakwa overlord wants government to rather commit resources into the planting for food and jobs initiative.
“My suggestion is not an attack on your policy, it is a suggestion I’m making and I feel passionate about this.
“We cut trees recklessly when we know that the leaves hold carbon dioxide, we are cutting without knowing the life-saving features they may hold and for 62 years, we don’t know where we are going,” he lamented.
The Okyenhene made the remark when the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Kwaku Asoma Kyeremeh, paid a courtesy call on him at Kyebi in the Eastern Region.
The visit of the Minister formed part of a five-day field visit to mining communities in the region.
The Nana Akufo-Addo led government made a strong case against illegal mining looking at its devastating effects on lands, water bodies and forest in general and therefore, placed a ban on the practice to enable the government to find a better and lasting solution to its effect.
The community concept, born a few months ago, is being seen as a replacement and a relief to the youth who hitherto, became redundant due to the ban on illegal small scale mining.
But the Okyenhene believes the planting for food and jobs initiative was more sustainable and has the potential of raking in more money for the country than mining which he says has contributed little to the economy.
Mr. Asoma Kyeremeh on his part stated that he is in the region to explain the objective of the community mining initiative.
According to him, the initiative will reduce the price one has to pay for engaging in illegal mining.
The Minister and his entourage inspected some mining sites in Akyem-Gyampomanin and Dome in the Fanteakwa South District.
The Minister in his visit, directed that two mining firms, Lifelong Mining Company Limited and Dome Mines, reclaim degraded lands and mine hundred meters away from the Birim River.