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Okyenhene calls for all-hands-on-deck to tackle galamsey menace

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Okyenhene calls for all-hands-on-deck to tackle galamsey menace
Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin (left) speaking at the function

The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has called for an all-hands-on-deck approach to win the fight against illegal mining, popularly called ‘galamsey’ and its devastating impact on the environment.

He said the level of destruction caused by the galamsey menace required an inclusiveness approach coupled with the needed leadership from the presidency and effective policies to tackle its root causes.

“With leadership and proper policies, we can repair many of the damages of galamsey. Many of us have shed tears of anger and frustration because some of the destruction caused in most cases is irreversible.

“We cut medicinal plants and trees in our tropical forest and send them into extinction before we can discover the life-saving features it may hold. Let us stop it. It has to take all hands-on deck approach,” the Okyenhene added.

Event

He made the call at a graduate practitioners’ forum 2021 on the premises of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) on the theme: "Business restructuring: Revamping strategies for business in crisis."

The annual forum is an initiative of the university’s graduate school where speakers share first-hand experience with the graduating students.

Deployment of soldiers

Osagyefuo Ofori Panin, who was the guest speaker, expressed appreciation to the government for the deployment of 200 soldiers to combat activities of galamseyers, including the protection of water bodies in some parts of the country.

“What the world has been through with this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a lesson I learnt a long time ago that this world indeed is one little orbit.

“And if you mess with God’s property, we pay a price. There are men whom a tree has no value unless they cut for timber, for whom an animal has no value until it enters the slaughterhouse for someone’s protein.

“We pollute and destroy water bodies with impunity. Our forbearers thought differently - they saw the earth as a sacred place and respected not only the rule of law, but also the rule of nature (God’s rule) which stipulates that one must live in harmony with the environment and not dominate and destroy it.

On sanitation, Osagyefuo Ofori Panin expressed concern over poor sanitation and waste management issues in cities, in particular.

“I am aware that the minister of sanitation and water resources is working tirelessly to bring the situation under control and clean up the city, but we have to remember, Accra is too congested.

“There is a limit to the size of this city and the number of people it can comfortably accommodate and support. You will agree with me that we have since passed that number,” he added.

Situation of STC

The Managing Director (MD) of the Intercity STC Coaches Limited, Nana Akomea, said due to prudent management under his leadership, the fortunes of the company had been turned around for the better.

He said the company was now making profit rather than the losses it was saddled with over the years because his administration had injected renewed vigour into its operations.

“The parcels department that used to bring GH¢100,000 per month, now provides GH¢350,000 a month; evaluation department which also used to contribute GH¢80,000, now does GH¢240,000; the driving school that did not generate any revenue, now brings GH¢8,000 a month under the leasing arrangement.

“We have also succeeded in turning the running of the buses to profitability and our Circle-Kumasi route, for instance, that used to contribute GH¢3 million a month, now generates GH¢5.2 million per month,” he added.

Significance

The Dean of Graduate Studies at UPSA, Dr John Mensah Mawutor, said the forum had become an important annual event for final year students of the university in the past 10 years.

“For our students, it is our expectation that as they interact with the speakers, they will be inspired to make a difference wherever they find themselves,” he added.

For his part, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, said the university was ready to help find solutions to the ravaging impact of COVID-19 on businesses.