Otumfuo emphasizes Chiefs’ responsibility in addressing the impacts of illegal mining within their domains

Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II expressed his dissatisfaction with the chiefs in the Amansie area due to their alleged involvement in illegal mining, also known as Galamsey. Speaking at the official launch of the 2023 Green Ghana Day event in Kumasi, he reiterated his commitment to preserving the country’s vegetation cover despite the destructive activities of illegal miners. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II recently returned from London, where he discussed land reclamation and environmental issues with Prince Charles III, who expressed his willingness to collaborate on such initiatives in Ghana.

Motivated by his concern for human life and the protection of Lake Bosomtwe, the largest natural lake in the country, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has already initiated tree planting efforts. He has planted 2.5 million trees on 6,000 hectares of land to safeguard the environment. Additionally, he has established teak plantations in Sekyere Kumawu and is collaborating with the Forestry Commission to develop another plantation in Offinso.

Tree planting has become Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s personal hobby, as he recognizes its significant contributions to the environment, climate change mitigation, and the well-being of local communities. He believes that trees provide homes for wildlife and are vital for the nation’s prosperity, echoing the sentiments of conservationist and former US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In his efforts to promote tree planting and environmental conservation, the Asantehene commended the Ashanti region for nurturing the highest number of trees, 7.8 million out of over 31 million planted nationwide within two years.

Recognizing that the country’s forest resources are under serious threat from various environmental challenges such as illegal mining, illegal logging, deforestation, and climate change, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II emphasized the importance of collective action. Despite the government’s measures to curb these issues, he expressed concern that illegal mining and logging persist and pose a significant threat to forest reserves. He urged Ghanaians to support the government’s efforts and called on the chiefs in the Amansie area to address the issue effectively. The Asantehene vowed to personally visit the affected areas and hold the chiefs accountable for their actions. He also acknowledged that some chiefs have benefited from illegal mining and emphasized the need for all parties to combat this problem.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II stressed that the illegal activities in the Asante Bekwai forest reserve, including the Oda River, Subin shelter belt, and Aprampram forest reserve, cannot continue. He urged the chiefs in those areas to collaborate with the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to find solutions and drive away illegal miners and loggers. The Asantehene acknowledged that both sides—the chiefs and the government—have their respective responsibilities to fulfill in combating these issues and emphasized that ignorance or denial is not an acceptable excuse.

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