The National House of Chiefs (NHC) has vowed to get tough with chiefs found to be either engaged or aiding illegal mining, popularly referred to as “galamsey” in their communities.
A press statement signed by its President, Togbe Afede, said the House “will give sympathetic hearing to petitioners who would want to destool any chief who has proven to be involved in illegal mining or aiding illegal mining”.

It asked that chiefs notified the appropriate authorities of any areas in their jurisdiction where the illicit activity was ongoing, while the ban by the government was still in force, for action.
The House called for the prosecution and punishment of everybody, who gave out land to miners without following due process.

The statement added that there should be strict adherence and enforcement of laws and guidelines regulating small-scale mining operation in the country.
It highlighted the need to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of the activities of miners.
This required providing the Forestry Commission, Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory and enforcement agencies at all levels to effectively perform.

The statement also condemned the indiscriminate destruction of forests and demarcated sacred grooves by chainsaw operators and timber merchants with the connivance of unscrupulous officers of the Forestry Commission.

The chiefs applauded the media for its tremendous contribution to the fight to stop illegal mining and urged it to remain unwavering.
The statement expressed strong support for measures taken by the government to halt the destruction of the forest cover and river bodies.