Scores of illegal miners including some Chinese nationals are alleged to be behind the recent forest destruction in the Bosomtwe reserve in Minti, a farming community in the Bosome Freho District of the Ashanti Region.
During a tour of the area by this reporter, the reserve containing plantations of commercial value had been destroyed beyond recognition in the Minti enclave.
Arable lands and water bodies close to the plantations had also been destroyed by these unscrupulous miners who were engaged in what they popularly call ‘galamsey’.
A source hinted this reporter that these illegal miners despite the ban on their activities have been entering the forest reserve with ease.
Checks at Miniti revealed that the chiefs and elders of the town are helpless about the situation and have planned to invoke curses on the forest destroyers.
The intended action by the Chiefs, a source in the town indicated has arisen because of the lack of trust in the Police and in the District Security Council (DISEC) to deal with the matter.
The Chiefs believe the Police should have driven the Chinese nationals and the local collaborators away since all forms of illegal mining or ‘galamsey’ has been outlawed.
Meanwhile, the youth in Minti accuse the District Chief Executive (DCE) as being complicit in the matter because reports to the Assembly about illegal mining and forest destruction are not dealt with.
But speaking to this reporter, Yaw Danso, the DCE for Bosome Freho denied knowledge about the activities of illegal miners in the Bosomtwe forest reserve.
He said his attention had been drawn to the matter by a report in Monday’s edition of the Crusading Guide Newspaper.
Mr Danso who claimed has been in Accra since Monday wondered why such matters are not directed to the Forestry Commission but rather his outfit since he felt it is not directly under his area of work.
Obviously forgetting his position as the representative of the President in the area, the DCE reluctantly promised to commission an investigation into the matter upon his return from Accra this weekend.
‘’I am unaware of the forest destruction but I believe such issues should be reported to the Forestry Commission since they are directly in charge of the forest’’, Mr Danso intimated.