The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has called upon traditional authorities, community leaders, and youth groups to join forces in combating illegal mining and sand winning, which are causing extensive damage to water bodies in Ghana.
Dr. Freda Prempeh, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, emphasized the importance of support from these community figures in curbing unscrupulous activities, especially by Chinese nationals engaged in illegal mining in the country.
Dr. Prempeh, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tano North, made this appeal during an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a community dialogue on social protection and social issues held in Yamfo, a mining community in the Tano North Municipality of the Ahafo Region.
The event, organized by the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MoGCSP), aimed to raise awareness among participants about the ministry's activities.
The dialogue brought together traditional leaders, market women, youth groups, and senior high school students.
Dr. Prempeh expressed her concern over the alarming and disturbing destruction of water bodies through illegal mining and sand-winning activities.
She urged chiefs, queens, community leaders, and opinion leaders to remain vigilant and report suspected illegal mining activities to law enforcement agencies for appropriate action.
She stressed that this cooperative effort was the most effective way for the government to clamp down on illegal mining, protect the environment, and safeguard water bodies for the benefit of current and future generations.
Additionally, Dr. Prempeh addressed the issue of sexual violence against girls and minors, advising chiefs and queens to refrain from settling such issues within households.
She appealed to traditional authorities to take a leading role in combating defilement, rape, and other forms of sexual harassment against girls and minors, emphasizing that such violence hinders their growth and development and leaves lasting emotional scars.
Mrs. Francisca Oteng Mensah, the Deputy Minister of the MoGCSP, highlighted the prevalence of human trafficking and domestic violence, leading the ministry to intensify public sensitization efforts and seek the support of local communities to combat these crimes more effectively.
She emphasized that community support was crucial in the fight against these human rights abuses.
Mrs. Mensah encouraged residents to report cases of sexual violence against girls to law enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators are arrested and prosecuted as a deterrent to others.
- Reporting by Dennis Peprah: Editing by Adewale Adejoke