The deputy minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Lands and Forestry, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, has paid a courtesy call on the Omanhene of the Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Area, Nana Katakyie Kwesi Bumagama II, on the sidelines of his field trip to Sefwi Wiawso of the Western North Region on Thursday, 13 January 2022.
Addressing the Omanhene and his chiefs, the deputy minister disclosed that his visit follows claims that some illegal mining activities were ongoing in forest reserves in the region, which has caused him to lead a team from the Forestry Commission to confirm the claims.
He added that regardless of his position as the deputy minister in charge of Forestry, he cannot go ahead with his operations in the area without the permission and blessings of the Omanhene, hence his visit to the palace.
The deputy minister assured the chief that the ministry’s mandate to curb illegal activities in the country continues unabated and, therefore, he should count on the outfit’s support on this fight.
Nana Katakyie Kwesi Bumagama II said he has been trying to get in touch with the minister on these claims and, therefore, was happy about the visit.
The Omanhene further confirmed that there was, indeed, illegal mining taking place in the area, pointing out that “there are even some illegal miners who come in armed to the teeth and pose a threat to the lives of the people in the communities”.
Nana Bumagama said considering the gravity of the issue, he would personally accompany the deputy minister on his field trip to the forest reserves in question.
Also with the deputy minister on his trip is the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey, and some Board members.