Tarkwa (W/R), May 9, GNA – The government has been reminded on the need to come out with well thought out strategies to deal with the illegal mining menace, popularly called galamsey.
The Methodist Bishop of the Tarkwa Diocese, Right Reverend Thomas Amponsah-Donkor noted that the extended ultimatum for all those involved in galamsey to clear their equipment from site within 30 days should give the government the needed time to out up these strategies.
He made the observation during the formal opening of the church’s 33rd annual synod on the theme:” Discipline, evangelism and church planting: the business of the church.”
Bishop Amponsah-Donkor said the future of the country cannot be mortgaged and wantonly jeopardised by a few people who care little about tomorrow.
He said: “The gold is ours, and we need to mine it, but it must be done responsibly so as to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Bishop Amponsah-Donkor said galamsey had been in existence for ages and served as a major source of livelihood for many people.
He said the recent threat on wetlands, water bodies, farmlands and forest reserves was devastating.
“Rivers such as Pra, Birim, Tano, Ankobra, Offin and others are now a pale shadow of themselves: with their water, looking like milo drink laced with expired milk, they have become endangered and we must not sit down unconcerned,” he pointed out.
According to him, the level of pollution in these rivers was unimaginable and was difficult to compute the long term effect it would have on the national psyche and future.
He gave the assurance that the government that the Methodist Church would continue its advocacy role and play its part in national development.
Touching on the theme for the synod, Bishop Amponsah-Donkor explained that discipline, envangelism and church planting should dictate the direction of the mission.
He said these should provide a cutting edge focus where the church’s energies should be directed and asked the synod members to make it their priority.
The diocesan lay chairman, Mr. Joseph Amponsah recalled that five years ago one of their church members did a research on how galamsey was degrading Tarkwa Nsueam.
He said the findings of the research was raised at one of the church’s synod, but nothing positive came out of it.
The Diocesan Lay Chairman observed that now that galamsey had gained public interest the Methodist church would take it upon itself and work on it to join the fight against the operations.
By Erica Apeatua Addo, GNA