The overlord of Akyem Abuakwa state ,Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin has proposed to the Council of state to recommend to the President to temporary place a total ban on small-scale and illegal mining in the country .
According to the Okyenhene ,the current approach is not a good panacea adding that there must be a ban on mining for some years to allow the state to put in place the necessary mechanisms that could properly regulate small-scale mining in Ghana before licenses issued to prospective miners .
Okyenhene said this Friday when he led members of the state advisory body,the Council of State to inspect large acres of arable lands and sacred forest degraded by illegal miners in Kibi and its environs .
The call for a ban on mining by Okyehene was supported by Lieutenant General Joseph Boateng Dankwa (Rtd ) who corroborate that a temporal ban will be a better option .
Okyenhene stated that, the call for alternative employment opportunities for the affected illegal miners is misguided because their activities are criminal.
He recounted to the council several attempts made to confiscate excavators of illegal miners who operated in the area but hit a snag due to some invisible political powers behind them.
Okyenhene said,he foresaw the wanton degradation of the environment several years ago hence single -handedly crusaded against illegal mining which did not receive any state support hence the devastating state of the Ghanaian environment .
Members of the Council of State led by the Chairman,Nana Otu Srebuor and Togbe Afede expressed shock over the level of destruction caused by illegal miners
According to the Council, by the end of the nationwide tour to galamsey affected areas ,it would be better informed and well positioned to prudently advise the President on the way forward in tackling the menace .
The Council of State members queried the mining and environmental regulatory bodies in the Region to explain their challenges leading to the environmental debacle so that the Council factor into their report to counsel the President for a holistic redress of the canker .
The Eastern regional Director of Environmental Protection Agency,Mr.Felix Addo -Okyireh said ,the agency is woefully under -staff making it difficult to efficiently regulate the environment .
He also pointed out failure by the Security agencies to arrest persons perpetuating environmental crime despite several petitions hence the destruction of the environment with impunity.
Some defiant illegal miners were spotted on site during the visit but absconded upon seeing the convoy .
The team visited two schools ,Abuakwa State College and Adadientem Primary School affected by the illegal mining menace as large mined pits have been left uncovered on the compound of the schools.