Mr Frank Okpenyen, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Nzema East Municipality in the Western Region, has called on traditional authorities to continue to support the government in the fight against illegal mining.
As custodians of the Land, the MCE requested the chiefs to stand in opposition to any activities that would render their land infertile and harmful for any human activities, since illegal miners used hazardous chemicals which could erode the gains in quality human resource.
‘Let look at the release of lands to foreigners and also form neighbourhood watchdog committees to monitor and report such illegal operations to save the country’s water bodies.
The Municipal Chief Executive at the maiden Town Hall Meeting, said illegal mining was the major security threat aside burglary and minor crimes, adding, ‘the pollution of the water bodies and degradation of the environment through illegal mining is life threatening’.
The Nzema East was elevated to a municipal status in 2008 and has a population of 60,828 representing 2.6 per cent of the total population in 2010 census, but currently, the Municipality has grown in population to 76,883 inhabitants as at 2017.
The MCE said the Assembly aimed at attaining a metropolitan status soon looking at the rate of growth.
The Town hall meetings initiated by the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Local Government was to afford communities the opportunity to engage with duty bearers on issues of concern and for them to contribute their views on government policies and programmes, from the national, regional and district levels for an informed decision making.
The meeting also enabled the assemblies to solicit feedback from the citizenry whilst members of the communities interrogate duty bearers on the management of resources both human and financial for development.
The MCE said petty thievery and burglary in shops, offices and homes was becoming alarming adding, ‘Let all be each other’s keeper.’
Mr Okpenyen said fighting crime was a collective responsibility, ‘as an assembly, we are putting the necessary security measures in place to equip the security agencies to continue their patrols and periodic swoops to crack down individuals who would disturb the peace and harmony within the municipality’.
He therefore urged the natives to live up to their civic responsibility through the payment of taxes and levies to ensure the needed development projects were executed to propel the development of the Municipality.
The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Art, Mrs. Catherine Ablema Afeku, also the Member of Parliament for the Area, assured the residents of infrastructure development under the NPP administration to uplift the image of the Constituency. GNA
By Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA