The National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP), under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, has paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of Akyem Abuakwa traditional area, His Majesty, Osagyefo Nana Amoatia Ofori Panin II, to put him in the know of the commencement of the national land reclamation programme in the Eastern Region and also to seek his involvement and support.
The King, in his submission applauded Government and NAELP for the initiative which he said was in line with his mission to protect the environment for the sake of future generations, while reminding the team and all gathered that “it is usual practice to protect for ourselves what we have today, but added that protecting for the future is equally important”
He also lauded the government for the introduction of land reclamation as he compared it to other similar programmes such as the Free Senior High School, planting for food and jobs and several others from which the nation would reap immense future benefits.
The King also spoke on the recognition of Government’s authority as being entrusted with all mineral resources of the nation on behalf of the people of Ghana. As such, individuals who say mineral resources belong to them do so out of ignorance.
The King also touched on the importance of making sure that development was for the whole and not part of Ghana, indicating that “the majority of Ghanaians still lived in poor and rural Ghana and for most of such persons, land was their only inheritance and so such initiatives which seek to restore lands and protect the environment are very commendable”.
He disclosed that It is also his wish that the lands when restored are protected such that they will not be destroyed again while cautioning the team to work hard and dedicatedly and not to place wealth and profit ahead of service and hard work.
In a short introduction, the Regional Minister, Seth Acheampong, who led the delegation to call on the King on Friday 24th June, 2022 at the Palace, introduced the reclamation team and provided a brief explanation of the purpose of the call to the King, saying that “This call was to pay homage and recognize the important role of His Majesty Osagyefo as the custodian of the lands selected in the Eastern Region for reclamation soon to begin in July”.
The National Coordinator of NAELP, Dr. Louise Carol Donkor for her part, gave the King a summary of the establishment of NAELP under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources which she said is to execute land reclamation and several other key interventions in the fight against illegal mining, under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Dr. Donkor explained that the reclamation and restoration was a gradual process involving several processes which takes time and considerable resources, adding that another very important intervention under NAELP is to provide alternative employment opportunities for illegal miners.
On behalf of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Dr. Donkor asked for the King’s support and blessings for the team to undertake the exercise in the region and also presented souvenirs marked with the Ministry’s crest and NAELP logo as a symbolic sign of appreciation for his support for the programme.
A total of about 1,000 hectares of degraded mined out lands is to be reclaimed and restored this year in the five mining regions of Ghana.