Church Of Pentecost Calls For Drastic Measures To Curb Galamsey

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The government must take a bold step to deal with illegal miners to help preserve the environment, the General Secretary of the Church of Pentecost (COP), Apostle Samuel Gyau Obuobi, has said. 

While calling on all stakeholders to support this year’s Green Ghana Day (GGD) tree planting exercise, Apostle Obuobi stressed that it was crucial for people in positions of authority to strictly enforce the law to stop illegal miners from destroying the environment.

“I want to call on those in positions of responsibility to implement decisive and bold measures to stop the illegality. Whoever is involved in it should be dealt with according to the laws of the land once they are caught; if we do not do that we will go nowhere.

“Our river bodies are getting destroyed here and there, and things are getting worse every day; you advise people and they do not take it, so we must apply the law,” he emphasised.

Apostle Obuobi further stressed that “our leaders must be bold and ensure that whoever is caught destroying the environment through galamsey is severely dealt with no matter their political colours or connections.”

Forestry Commission visit
He made the call when the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, John Allotey, led a team to pay a courtesy call on the leadership of the church in Accra last Thursday.

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The visit formed part of a stakeholder engagement by the Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in preparation for this year’s Green Ghana Day scheduled for June 7.

Since the GGD initiative was rolled out in 2021, 43 million seedlings have been planted, with 10 million more targeted to be planted this year. Within the same period, the COP has planted 1.6 million seedlings in support of the government’s agenda to restore the country’s landscape that has been degraded by galamsey and other human activities.

1 million target
Apostle Obuobi disclosed that the church had targeted to plant one million seedlings on the Green Ghana Day. He said the church had, in collaboration with the Northern Regional Forestry Commission, identified 262 acres of degraded land in forest reserves for the tree planting exercise.

“The Green Ghana Day project is important to us as a church because our God is interested in the environment. When he created man, the garden he put man in was beautiful, green, with pure rivers flowing through it. Human beings therefore have the responsibility to prioritise environmental protection and preservation,” he said.

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Civic responsibility
The COP General Secretary called on all stakeholders, including religious leaders, chiefs, politicians and local communities, to come together and plant trees to save the environment.

“As citizens, we have a civic responsibility to come out and plant trees because it is said that if the last tree dies, the last man dies,” he stressed. Apostle Obuobi added that the COP had prioritised environmental protection in its vision 2028 policy, leading to the rolling out of initiatives such as clean-up campaigns, environmental awareness education and tree planting.

Commitment
For his part, Mr Allotey said the Forestry Commission remained committed to protecting the country’s forest reserves despite the continuous attack by illegal miners. He said the forest guards were on the alert and were doing everything possible to weed out galamsey operators from the forest reserves. 

Turning to the GGD, Mr Allotey was optimistic that through the support of all stakeholders, the target of planting 10 million trees this year would be exceeded. He commended the Church of Pentecost for planting over 1.6 million trees and committing to plant a million more this year.

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He said that when faith-based organisations, traditional rulers and other stakeholders worked with the commission, it would be easier to stop the human activities that destroyed the environment.

The Forestry Commission CEO said tree seedlings would be made available at vantage points such as churches and mosques, all regional and district offices of the commission, shopping malls and chiefs’ palaces for collection ahead of the GGD.

Source: graphiconline.com

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