Galamsey: We need to address rapid population growth — Chief

Nana Ansah Kwao IV, Chief of Akwamu Adumasa, has attributed the unending illegal mining—’galamsey’—activity to the continuous growth in the population size of the country.

According to him, it was driving unemployment rate in the country high with the desire for survival fueling the situation.

He said this while contributing to discussions on the ‘galamsey’ menace on an Accra-based radio station monitored by the Ghana News Agency, on Saturday.

“The fundamental issue of all the menace confronting to this issue is the speed with which the population is growing, but some how as a country, it is a taboo subject for us. If you look at our economy and the number of new babies we put in a year, there is absolutely no way we can give them good roads, sanitation, education before December; before we put in another 900,000 new babies for, which a great percentage is coming from the lower end of the spectrum where the financial muscle is not too strong,” he noted.

Nana Kwao IV, therefore, called for drastic measures to be put in place and family planning encouraged to check the rapid growth of the population.

“What we the traditional rulers are refusing to understand is that the principles have not changed, but the times have changed and so the reasons for, which our forefathers did certain things, the thing is still valid but maybe the reason you can change it, the purpose you cannot change it. And so that’s why we have arrived here, greed and survival,” he stated.

Dr Henry Kokofu, Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), noted that inadequate staff was hampering the Agency’s efforts to regularly monitor activities of mining companies to ensure that they adhered to the law.

He, however, revealed that the Agency was in the process of procuring some 45 vehicles to help in monitoring activities of mining companies, especially ‘galamsey’ in the country.

He said that would enable the Agency to identify and arrest mining companies and persons who flouted the mining laws of the country by engaging in illegal activities.

“The first time in the history of EPA, we are procuring 45 vehicles, of which 25 are robust mining Land Cruisers size that the large scale miners use and it’s being equipped with all the necessary accouterments, including GPS, siren and all that we need to work with… So, we will be able to march up boot for boot with illegal operators,” he said.

The EPA Boss noted that the Agency had taken numerous actions, including sanctioning and revoking the mining licences of companies and individuals who perpetuated illegalities, in an effort to curb the galamsey menace.

He said the EPA was currently working with the Minerals Commission to activate the reclamation bond to ensure that all mined lands were returned to their original states.

Regulation 23 of the Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (L.I 1652) mandates the EPA to ensure that prospective small-scale miners post reclamation bonds in the form of cash into an escrow account based on approved reclamation plans before they are issued permits to mine.

Mr Francis Kwasi Bonzoh, the District Chief Executive for Elembelle District, rejected calls by a section of the public for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to be sacked for failing to deal with the ‘galamasey’ menace.

He described that as “quiet simplicity,” explaining that, actors of ‘galamsey’ business were powerful and highly connected, making the fight against the canker very difficult.

Dr Tony Aubynn, President, Africa Institute of Extractive Industries, urged the Minerals Commission to monitor concessions given out to mining firms to ensure the right thing was done.


Source: Modern Ghana

Dredging of portions of Volta River begins — DCE

Ms Sarah Dugbakie Pobee, Ada East District Chief Executive, says some portions of the Volta River will be dredged to reduce the trend of tidal waves and high rate of flooding in the district.

She said the river had not been dredged in more than 20 years, resulting in flooding and destruction of lives and property.

Ms Pobee said this during an ordinary meeting of the Ada East District Assembly, explaining that the dredging would start from the Ada Estuary through to Sogakope to Akosombo.

She said a contract had been awarded to Lower Volta Dredging Contractors Limited, a solely owned Ghanaian company, which had already moved to a site at Angornya to start the process.

She said the company was currently undertaking a survey on the river to ascertain routes for the vessels to enter the district.

Ms Pobee said the district had done the first phase of community engagement with residents and would be engaging traditional leaders, assembly members, and all communities involved.

“Our fishermen and other users of the river would also be engaged extensively on the activities, including the scope of work, area of coverage, what they are expected to do and not to do, among other issues,” she said.

The Ada East District Chief Executive, therefore, called for cooperation to ensure that the project is completed on schedule.


Source: Modern Ghana

Lesotho’s mountain jockeys race in the mist

Jockeys from the southern African kingdom of Lesotho Saturday gathered with their mounts in the mountain village of Semonkong to compete on one of the continent’s highest racetracks.

Horse racing is a major social occasion in the poor mountainous nation of about two million people nestled inside South Africa.

“I can go fast, very fast,” 17-year-old Tsaeng Masotsa said before heading to the starting line.

At more than 2,200 metres (7,200 feet) above sea level, the high plateaus of Semonkong in central Lesotho play host to a nationally famous racetrack.

Races are held here throughout the dry season from May to September with the most prestigious one marking King Letsi III’s birthday in July.

A few hundred people, mostly wrapped in bright traditional shepherd’s blankets, gathered Saturday to watch dozens of riders square off under the pale sun.

“The news spread like wildfire from village to village,” said Jonathan Halse 52, who runs a lodge in the area and is among the race’s sponsors.

Many things are still organised by word of mouth here.

The horse came to Lesotho with European settlers in the 19th century and the local Basuto pony is the result of crossbreeding over time. They are mid-sized and known for their endurance.

Locals use them to herd sheep and goats or for everyday transport. Some villages are accessible only on horseback.

“It’s an absolute necessity in everyday life. There are places where you can’t go otherwise,” said Motlatsi Manaka, a 45-year-old herder.

Before the races, the animals are brushed, their manes braided or trimmed.

They have undergone months, or sometimes years of training.

Winning prizes can reach $130 dollars — about the same amount as the average monthly salary.

Gambling is rife with bundles of cash being passed among spectators seated on large stones.

‘My horse will win’

Most horse owners are shepherds who make a living selling wool. The annual shearing season has just begun and shepherds receive about $3 per kilogram of the fibre.

Jockeys get just a little more to ride and most of them are under 20.

The race is divided into several events, based on the age of the horses taking part.

“My horse will be victorious, no adversary can resist him,” some riders chant, before launching their horses at breakneck speed on the curved course.

The dirt track, about one kilometre long, is enveloped in mist from the nearby Maletsunyane Falls, among the largest in Africa.

Its finish line is marked by a pile of stones.


Source: Modern Ghana

Study hard, go with God and make yourselves proud — COSGLO School Complex Proprietor to BECE candidates

The final year students of the COSGLO School Complex at Amasaman have been encouraged to face their 2022 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) with much confidence and discipline in order to come out victoriously.

The Proprietor of the school, Mrs. Gloria Dzikonu reminded the students that their future is in their hands. She noted that their performance at the exams would determine their next level in their academic journey.

Speaking at a special thanksgiving, exams orientation and prayer meeting organised for the final year students by the school management, the Proprietor was confident that the candidates would make the school, their parents and themselves very proud given the quality of tuition they have received.

The General Overseer of BibleHouse International Community Church in Accra, Apostle Justice Dennis Boamah prayed fervently for success and God’s blessings for all the candidates and the school in the coming BECE exams.

He encouraged them to make prayer a part of their preparations towards the exams.

Apostle Boamah warned the candidates against examination malpractices such as the use of foreign materials and copying from other candidates which he said can jeopardize their future.

He further warned them especially the males to desist from spending their time to watch pornographic movie, at the expense of their studies.

One Rev. Frimpong, an Examiner from WAEC took the final year students through the examination processes; how to answer BECE questions and how the exams are marked by the examiners.

He urged them to strive to score higher marks in each subject in order to get admission in their preferred schools.

Ms. Tracey Frimpong, a Lawyer also shared her rich experience in writing WAEC exams with the students.

The 2022 BECE exams commences on Monday 17th October across Ghana.


Source: Modern Ghana

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