The Central Regional Minister, Mr. Ebenezer Kweku Teye Addo, has said his priority was to combat illegal mining in the Region and called for a collaborative effort among the Western, Central, Eastern and Ashanti regions in fighting the menace.

He said the Pra River, polluted due to the illegal mining, is a source of drinking water for the four regions and if nothing was done to salvage the situation posterity would not forgive this present generation.

Mr. Addo said this at a short ceremony in Cape Coast on Thursday to take over administration of the Region from Dr. Samuel Sarpong who has been posted to the Ashanti Region.

He called for efforts of all Ghanaians to arrest the high level of pollution of water bodies in the country because the situation was so appalling that waters beneath the surface of the earth are all polluted.

Mr. Addo, who was the Western Regional Minister, called for unity amongst all stakeholders to help forge the development of the region ahead saying where there was unity, development thrives and peace prevailed.

He lauded the former Minister for the development projects done in the region and promised to continue with the uncompleted ones as well as implement new ones.

Mr Addo pledged to work together with the Metropolitan Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), chiefs and all stakeholders towards the progress of the Region.

He called on the Central Regional Security Council to be on the alert to fight against criminal activities which were on the ascendancy in other Region adding that the interest of the region should be paramount.

Dr. Sarpong mentioned illegal mining as one of the major challenges he faced and also expressed displeasure at the state of the Pra River despite attempts to stop illegal mining.

The Dean of the Central Regional MMDCEs, Mr. Samuel Oppong stated that the fight against illegal mining was not for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party alone and therefore called on all, irrespective of party affiliation, to put their hands on deck to safeguard land and rivers.

He lauded the Government?s effort to restructure the Anti Galamsey Task Force for land reclamation and appealed for the creation of an additional means of livelihood for illegal miners.

A group calling itself the Progressive Movement for a Better Ghana had sent a congratulatory message to Mr. Addo for his ?wonderful exploits so far in the Government of President John Dramani Mahama.?

A statement copied to the GNA in Cape Coast and signed by its Communications Director, Mr. Gideon Kojo Fianya, said although it was aware of the enormity of the task ahead of him due to the poverty levels in the Region, it had no shred of doubt that he would perform well. GNA

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