Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has challenged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the fight against illegal mining popularly known as ‘galamsey’ in the country.
The agency must be held solely responsible, according to The King of the Asante Kingdom, for the harm that illegal mining causes to the country’s waterways, lands, and forest reserves despite their existence.
“If I am informed that lands, forest covers and rivers are under siege, then I have to come to you for answers. You must render accounts for that since you were entrusted with the environment.”
“The agency was established for a course. The environment has been entrusted to your care and it’s a big task. Our lands, rivers, forests and air are under your care and that simply means our lives are in your care.”
He added, “You all hold positions and titles but what are you doing to protect the atmosphere and air we breathe from pollution, the water bodies and the forest from being destroyed? That is what you have been employed to do.”
As a result, Otumfou has urged them to implement the necessary regulatory policies to promote environmental protection.
“It is not your job to take guns to fight galamsey. Even our soldiers couldn’t fight it. But remember our forefathers mined effectively without destroying the environment. This means we can also mine effectively and efficiently. Find ways to protect the environment from these pollutions.”
The Asantehene also encouraged the office to help bring down noise pollution particularly around evening time and during the nigt hours which is an irritation to sleep.
These calls were made when the administration and board members of the EPA visited the Asantehene at the Manhyia Castle on Friday, December 15, 2023.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is obligated to protect and improve the country’s environment as well as seek common ground on global environmental issues as part of their duties.
Meanwhile, EPA is set to open six new offices in the Ashanti region as a feature of its efforts to spread its limbs throughout the country.
Kumasi, Asante Mampong, Juaben and other basic towns in the region will get EPA offices soon. A piece of land near that of the Lands Commission at Adum has been bequeathed to the Agency for the purpose.
Besides all the above mentioned, EPA humbly sought permission from Otumfou to carve a replica of the Golden Stool to replace a stool held in recognition of Ghana in a museum in Dubai.
As indicated by Dr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Executive Director of EPA, a recent visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the COP 28 Summit took him to the Museum where he saw the supposed “Golden Stool” on display as an emblem of Ghana.
According to him, the stool being displayed is not befitting and thereby his quest to get a replica of the Golden Stool.
He said a fund set aside by the agency will cater for that cost.
Otumfuo commended the delegation for the visit and the introduction and urged them to deliver on their mandate.