Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, has warned that activities of illegal mining or galamsey which is having a toll on the country’s water bodies and ecosystem will not be tolerated in any part of the region.
He said the harmful effects of the unregulated mining activities were becoming dire to human existence and it was imperative to take action as a region not to entertain to encourage the practice.
“Galamsey is not welcome in the Volta Region,” he said, warning that he would not hesitate to “push for the removal of any Municipal and District Chief Executive (MDCE) who would allow activities of illegal mining or galamsey to take place in his or her jurisdiction.”
The Minister, addressing the first meeting of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) this year, charged MDCEs to use their offices as heads of the Municipal and District Security Councils to safeguard the environment.
He directed all Municipal and District Security Councils to include in their monthly reports issues of environmental degradation to the Regional Security Council for prompt interventions to forestall any predicament from befallen the region.
Dr Letsa said haphazard sand winning in some Municipalities including Ketu South and Ketu North, “is our galamsey as a region” and that measures had to be taken to regulate and check the practice to protect the land and other ecosystems around these sites.
He said they would ensure sustainable regulated sand winning and asked the Assemblies to close any sand mining site found to be operating in blatant disregard to best practices and regulatory conditions.
On sanitation situation in the region, the Minister bemoaned poor sanitary conditions in some areas, especially urban centres, and attributed it to bad human behaviours.
He called for attitudinal change to help reduce the amount of money spent on sanitation and its related diseases and asked authorities to prosecute offenders to serve as a deterrent to others.
On the Green Ghana project in which the region was expected to plant over 200,000 trees, the Minister said the region was on course and asked Assemblies to factor the execution of the campaign into their annual activities.
Touching on security, he said the region was relatively calm and peaceful and that people continued to go about their daily economic activities without harbouring fears.
He, however, mentioned chieftaincy and land disputes as major security threats to the current peace in the region and urged all to help deal with the situation.
The meeting was attended by Municipal and District Chief Executives, Presiding Members, Regional Heads of Security Services, Regional Heads of Departments and Agencies, two representatives of the Volta Region House of Chiefs and Coordinating Directors.