Editorial: Pamper Chinese water polluters & Ghana will be doomed forever
We used this column yesterday to express our disgust with the activities of Chinese illegal miners in the country. We made reference to Aisha Huang, a deported Chinese national who became an illegal mining (galamsey) queen in Ghana.
Through her illegal activities, vegetation and our water bodies were destroyed. But despite the serious harm the lady was causing to our environment, she was untouchable – in other words nobody could muster the courage to arrest and prosecute her.
We also pointed out that when she was finally arrested, following media blitz on her activities, she was deported under bizarre circumstances without being allowed to face the full rigours of our laws.
We further indicated that China would not have extended such a courtesy to Ghana if one of her nationals was involved in the pollution of their water bodies at the rate Aisha Huang was doing in Ghana.
Surprisingly, when everyone thought the chapter on Chinese destroying our water bodies had been brought to an end, following the deportation of Aisha, the nationals of the communist state are still terrorising us. As readers might have read in our yesterday’s edition of this great newspaper, four Chinese had been arrested by the security agencies for doing alluvial mining in rivers Oda and Offin.
The state of the waters in the heavily polluted rivers, as the picture accompanying the story depicted, was a complete eyesore. There is no way any aquatic life can survive in these two rivers.
Interestingly, the Offin River is the source of drinking water for the residents of the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, and its environs. Clearly, something wrong is going on in this country and until we all get up and fight for the right thing to be done, the future would be bleak.
As we indicates yesterday, these Chinese, who are wrecking havoc in our motherland Ghana, do not know any part of this country when they bought plane tickets to fly to Ghana. Obviously, they are being aided by the relevant regulatory bodies and the local authorities. To help address the unfortunate development therefore, The Chronicle is making the following suggestions to President Akufo-Addo and his government.
Prosecution of District Chief Executives (DCEs): DCEs are the representatives of the President in the districts over which they have supervisory jurisdiction. The President cannot know and visit every hamlet in the country, but the DCEs can easily do so. In our view, therefore, if there is illegal mining going on in a district where water bodies are being destroyed, the DCE in charge of that particular district must be arrested or sacked from office immediately. The affected DCE ought to have known what was going on, but if he pretends not to know that water bodies are destroyed in his district, then he or she does not deserve the position as the government representative.
National Investigation Bureau (NIB): For the sake of national security, NIB officials have been posted to all corners of the country to gather intelligence and supply same to their head office in Accra. Polluting water bodies with dangerous chemicals is a serious national security issue. Therefore, if there is an NIB officer in a district where illegal mining, including pollution of rivers, are going on, but such a person failed to notice and report I to the higher authorities in Accra, then we dare say such an official does not deserves to be paid with the tax payer’s money and must be removed from office.
Assembly Members: Apart from the DCEs, assembly members are next in command when it comes to the local governance. They know everything that goes on in their localities. If people are destroying water bodies, they will definitely know. They must, therefore, be roped into the equation of people charged with the responsibility of ensuring sanity in the local areas. They must be advised to report any destruction of water bodies to their DCEs. If they fail to act as ordered, their election must be revoked. This means the necessary amendments must be made to the Local Government Act to ensure their easy removal from office.
Chiefs: They are custodians of the lands, as spelt out in our customary laws. As a result of this unique position, they know everything that goes on in their lands. We, therefore, suggest to the government to start dialoguing with the National House of Chiefs to see the role they can also play in solving the problem. We must, however, be honest here – some of our revered chiefs are themselves deeply involved in this Chinese galamsey menace, and that is why we think opening discussions with them will be one of the best ways in dealing with the issue.
But if the chiefs fail, or refuse to accept this honourable gesture from the government, then force must be applied by arresting chiefs in whose jurisdictions these Chinese water polluters operate. We insist that destruction of our water bodies is a serious national security issue, and we will be laughing at the wrong side of our mouths if we, as a state, fail to act now.