The President of the St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Society within the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast, Opanyin Dr Augusta Adjei Frimpong, has called on Ghanaians to fully support the government in its quest to clampdown on illegal mining activities.
According to her, it required concerted efforts by all Ghanaians in order for the government to win the fight against the galamsey menace which had wreaked havoc to land, forest reserves and water bodies.
She said “the populace must fully support and rally behind the government in its aggressive approach towards ending illegal mining so as to protect our lands and water bodies from further destruction”.
Dr Frimpong made the call in an interview with the Daily Graphic when members of the society planted some trees on the premises of the St Anthony of Padua Catholic Church at Agona Swedru in the Central Region last Saturday.
The exercise formed part of the maiden Ghana Green Project, initiated by the Forestry Commission (FC) and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to rally Ghanaians to plant more trees to preserve and protect the nation’s forest cover and the environment.
She noted further that the government alone could not fight against the galamsey menace and that it was the civic responsibility of every Ghanaian to play a pivotal role towards dealing with illegal mining across the country.
Dr Frimpong added “as a nation, we cannot sit on the fence and allow the environment being built for the benefit of future generations to be destroyed by some Ghanaians and foreign nationals through galamsey”.
She called on Ghanaians engaged in the activity to put a stop to it to deter other foreign nationals from engaging in the same galamsey activity, stressing “it is rather unfortunate some Ghanaians front for foreign nationals to do illegal mining without recourse to its effects on the environment”.
Dr Frimpong advocated stiffer punishments for persons arrested for engaging in illegal activity, saying that “if individuals arrested for engaging in galamsey were given tougher punishments, it would obviously make the venture unattractive to many people”.
She disagreed with the repatriation of foreign nationals arrested for engaging in illegal mining activity, noting that “such a situation would embolden them since they know that they would be deported after being arrested”.
Tree planting initiative laudable
She further lauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for coming up with the Green Ghana Project as it would help add on to the nation’s forest cover which had depleted due to some human activities.
She charged every Ghanaian to ensure that every tree planted was nurtured like a baby to reach maturity stage to achieve the intended objective, stressing “every Ghanaian has a responsibility to see to the survival and growth of all trees planted”.
For his part, the Parish Priest of the St Anthony Catholic Church, Rev. Fr Felix James Otoo, added his voice to the call for all Ghanaians to protect the environment since the nation’s survival was dependent on it.
He noted that the church had a religious duty to support such a good initiative since it was in fulfilment of God’s command for humans to protect what God had created, indicating that “the church had a responsibility to support the government in its quest to transform the country for the benefit of all”.