General News of Saturday, 23 December 2017
The Partners of Nature Africa (PONA) has called on Government to impress on small-scale miners to reclaim lands they have used to extract gold by planting vegetation on the degraded lands after the ban on their activities is lifted.
The organization also charged regulatory agencies responsible for supervising and monitoring the activities of licensed small-scale miners must ensure lands used for mining activities are reclaimed to maintain the country’s vegetation cover.
PONA, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) is embarking on an exercise to reclaim and rejuvenate lands that been destroyed as a result of illegal mining activities.
The organization is planting trees on depleted lands in all the eight regions where illegal mining activities have caused destructions to the lands and vegetation.
Speaking at the launch of Galamsey sites Rejuvenation Project Nursery at Appiakrom in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region, Director of Operations of the Partners of Nature Africa, Amofa Foster said the exercise will go a long way to prevent the effect of climate change.
He said his outfit chose to use rubber trees in the planting exercise because it is a way of providing jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in areas where this exercise is being done.
Mr Amofa indicated that the organization is collaborating with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forestry Commission, the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and the Ashanti Regional chapter Small Scale Miners Association to reclaim abandoned pits which have been dug by illegal miners to carry out their activities.
He commended Government’s decision to ban illegal mining activities and also advised licensed small-scale miners to adhere to laws governing their operations should Government eventually lift the ban on their activities.
District NADMO coordinator for the Atwima Mponua District, Osei Kwadwo has expressed worry over how the activities of illegal miners have affected socio-economic activities in the area.
He said the exercise by PONA to plant trees to reclaim abandon Galamsey sites was laudable and called on Government benevolent institutions to support the gesture.
The event which was on the theme; ‘Restoring God’s Heritage’ was also used to educate farmers and residents in the area on the need to protect the vegetation over of the country.