The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah has warned local government officials who are behind illegal activities like galamsey and Chain-saw operations within the Lake Bosomtwe landscape to put a stop to it.
According to him, the Nana Addo-led government is committed to the fight against environmental degradation and would not show mercy to anyone found culpable..
He said, “the government has put its gear to the 5th and Nananom, I plead with you, anyone who is caught in any illegal activity like chain sawing, sand winning and ‘galamsey’ would not be shown mercy but will face the full consequences of their actions”.
The Minister gave the warning when he participated in a tree planting exercise at Ankaase near Lake Bosomtwe during the celebration of the World Earth Day. The tree planting exercise was carried out by the Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration Project in collaboration with Environmental Office of US Embassy in Ghana.
The ceremony was a part of the global One Trillion Trees Initiative as well as the Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration Project, a program launched by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in 2019 with the aim to plant 2.5 million trees around Lake Bosomtwe.
The representative of Otumfuo, Amakom-Hene, Nana Asare said, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is committed to protecting landscapes, rivers and other aquatic bodies in the Ashanti Kingdom.
He said, “Otumfuo is leading by example in the fight against climate change and today’s occasion is to inaugurate the planting of 100 million trees to protect our water bodies and the earth at large”.
He warned that, Otumfuo and the Manhyia palace are not going to tolerate any action of irresponsibility that downgrades the integrity of the beautiful and unique landscape of the Kingdom.
“The US ambassador will not be here to protect the trees, the Nananom will not be here to do same, but it is the responsibility of you and I (locals) to take actions in our full capacity to protect the trees and our landscape for generations to come”, he added.
On her part, the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan said, “The Joseph Biden Administration and the US Government is committed to Climate Change and ready to support any climate change mitigation action around the world. Not only are we making this call but are going to act accordingly”.
She said “Climate change is not a one country affair; it is a global issue; we all have our roles to play”.
Following the tree-planting ceremony, Ambassador Sullivan paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene and discussed the Asantehene’s conservation plans as well as other areas of collaboration.
“Recently I had a report that someone had gone to cut down the trees along the lake with the support of a sub-chief. This is a news I got with trepidation. For the perpetrator not realizing that these trees were planted for a purpose was very worrying. Even though the Assembly and other stakeholders have resolved that he replants the trees, it should come with a caution to deter others,” Otumfuo demanded.