Okyenhene Kicks Against Mining; Roots For PFJ
Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin
The OKYENHENE, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has kicked against government’s Community Mining Programme, saying mining holds no promising future for Ghana.
However, he has pledged immense support for Government’s Planting Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme, describing it as the biggest agricultural policy ever.
According to the Okyenhene, the future of Akyem Abuakua depended on agriculture and not mining.
The Okyenhene made the remarks when the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, paid a courtesy call on him at his Palace at Kyebi on Monday, July 29, 2019.
“Our option is planting for food and jobs because it’s sustainable, ” according to him.
He added that “Planting for food and jobs I will say again and again is our future and not community mining.”
Government introduced the Community Mining scheme after it lifted the ban on illegal mining as part of efforts to promote responsible and sustainable mining.
But the Okyenhene was of the strong conviction that “Community Mining and Planting for Food and Jobs cannot co-exist.”
Explaining his opposition to community mining, he said “we are worried not because it’s a new policy. We are worried whether we are going to achieve a different result.”
He pointed out the destruction that has been caused to river bodies and the environment over several decades and how Ghana has not benefitted as it should from mining.
He made particular reference to the disparity in development between Johannesburg in South Africa and Obuasi in Ghana.
While both Obuasi and Johannesburg are known for mining, he said, the latter was developed while the former remained in a poor state.
The Okyenhene wondered why the Lands Ministry is in a ‘haste’ to go ahead with the Community mining programme when the reclamation exercise for lands destroyed by illegal mining activities was not yet completed.
BY Melvin Tarlue