The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has asked for support from traditional authorities, community leaders and youth groups to curb illegal mining and sand wining and their attendant destruction of water bodies in the country.
According to Dr Freda Prempeh, the sector minister, as the custodians of land and society, and the embodiment of the people, the country could do more to controlling the unscrupulous activities of especially, Chinese nationals seriously engaged in illegal mining in the country.
The sector minister said the government appreciated and recognised the contributions of some chiefs and queens who had been and remained supportive in the nationwide fight against the menace.
She however, added that “others who are also seriously in bed with the Chinese illegal miners” must be exposed, named, and shamed in the supreme interest of the nation.
Dr Prempeh also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tano North made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the side-lines of a community dialogue on social protection and social issues held at Yamfo, a mining community in the Tano North Municipality of the Ahafo Region.
It was organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and aimed at sensitizing participants about the activities of the Ministry.
The dialogue was attended by traditional leaders, market women, youth groups and Senior High School students.
Dr Prempeh said the destruction of water bodies through illegal mining and sand winning were now alarming and disturbing, and pleaded with the chiefs and queens, community, and opinion leaders to be on the watch and report activities of suspected illegal miners to the law
enforcement agencies for their arrest and prosecution.
That, she added, remained the surest and best way the government could successfully clamp down on the illegal miners, protect the environment, and water bodies for the benefit of not only today’s generation but posterity.
Earlier addressing participants, Dr. Prempeh advised chiefs and queens to avoid the temptation of settling issues of sexual violence against girls and minors in homes.
She therefore appealed to traditional authorities to take the lead role in fighting defilement, rape, and other forms of sexual harassment of girls and minors.
Sexual violence and molestation, Dr Prempeh said, was not only inimical to the growth and development of girls, but also left a scar in the minds of victims and put them into emotional trauma.
Mrs Francisca Oteng Mensah, the Deputy Minister of the MoGCSP said high incidents of human trafficking and domestic violence had pushed the Ministry to upscale public sensitisation to count on the support of local communities to fight the crime in a more proactive manner.
She said without the support of communities, it would be extremely difficult for the Ministry and the government to fight the crimes, which remained the worst forms of human rights abuses in the country.
Mrs. Mensah therefore urged communities’ residents to report cases of sexual violence against girls to the law enforcement agencies for the perpetrators to be arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to like-minded others.