Chiefs cannot be charged with encouraging the growth of unlawful mining, according to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, because licenses are granted without consulting traditional authority.
He also questioned the security services’ abject failure to stop the nation’s unlawful mining.
The Asantehene acknowledged the economic motivations behind illicit mining operations, but he asserts that these should not take precedence over the destruction of the ecosystem.
When Virginia E. Palmer, the US ambassador to Ghana, paid him a visit at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, he made the statements.
The Asantehene voiced displeasure with the country’s efforts to combat unlawful mining, or “galamsey,” as it is known there.
He has questioned why, despite years of ostensible activity, the security agencies have been unable to put an end to the situation.
Due to their ineffectiveness in containing the galamsey threat, the District and Municipal Security Councils (DISECs) were called into question by the Asantehene.
He questioned why, after fighting illegal mining for several years with a force made up of both the military and police, so little progress had been made.
“At the district level, we have the political administration, District Chief Executive, and the Security Council. Are they all saying that they are unaware of the activities of these galamseyers? If they are unable to detect and stop the operation of these galamseyers then they are unworthy to be there, it is as simple as that.”
“We should have brought finality to this issue by now. The President had even put his presidency on the line, and yet this is going on. To me, something is wrong somewhere.”
Despite acknowledging the difficulties the nation is facing due to its high unemployment rate, Asantehene said that this should not take precedence over the continuous environmental destruction.