Source, Credit: Daily Graphic.
The Chiefs and Residents of Sefwi Asawinso A, Mpesiem, Bunkanso in the Sefwi Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai municipality and Antobiase of the Western North Region have endorsed the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Program NAELP
describing the reclamation project as one of the best initiatives by the government in the area in recent years.
They said apart from the employment opportunities it provided for the local people, the project would go a long way to curb untimely deaths in uncovered mining pits.
“We have seen that the reclamation project is good and so we want the government to expand it to cover all mining communities. If you cover some pits and leave others, we will still suffer consequences,” the chiefs said.
The Nsafoahene of Anhwiaso traditional council and Odikro of Asawinso A, Nana Kwadwo Boafo I was much grateful to the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo and the NAELP Coordinator Dr. Louise Carol for selecting their communities for the start.
He confessed that, the program has not only brought them with employment but has also curbed social vices among the teeming youth. He therefore assured to use the authority they have to ensure the plantation are well grown and protected.
According to Chief of Mpesiem, Nana Nkansah Obirimpong II, the traditional rulers in the area would do everything within their power to end the galamsey menace in the area.
The Antobiahene, Nana Asante Krobea, also told the Daily Graphic that the chiefs and the people had whole-heartedly endorsed the project and would, therefore, guard it jealously.
He noted that environmental and economic henefits of the project were enormous, for which reason it would be given the needed support.
However, he underscored the need to address teething challenges associated with the project, especially the ownership of the reclaimed lands.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the National Coordinator of NAELP, Dr Louise Carol Serwa Donkor, said she was impressed by the extent of work done during the first phase targetting 1,000 hectares of degraded lands.
She said apart from the over 300 hectares of degraded lands that were being reclaimed in the Western North Region, similar projects were progressing steadily in the Bosome Freho District Ashanti Region, as well as Abuakwa South and Atiwa West in the Eastern Region.
Dr Donker said hundreds of employment opportunities had been created along the value chain since the reclamation project started last year, with the figure expected to go up as more projects were executed.
This is a green project that has global implications, especially in the wake of climate change, added. Therefore, more funding sources will be explored to scale it up and sustain it, so that we can reap the multiplier benefits as a country.
For Heroesnews, Rexkin Ohene Boateng, Hello fm Kumasi.