Samreboi: Timber and Wood Workers Union kick against illegal mining in forest reserves

The Timber and Wood Workers Union has kicked against illegal mining in some forest reserves at Samreboi, in the Wassa Amenfi District of the Western North Region.
The General Secretary of Timber and Wood Workers Union (TWWU), Mr Mark Ofori Asante, made this known last Tuesday at a news briefing held at Samreboi to address the impact of illegal mining (galamsey) in some forest concessions managed by Samartex Timber and Plywood Company Limited for the past 25 years.


He said although illegal mining was not under the remit of the Union, it was directly impacting the jobs of its members.



“Our work depends on timber so if the timber is attacked, it means our livelihood is also attacked,” Mr Asante said.


He added that the activities of ‘galamsey’ had gone beyond water bodies, riverbanks, cocoa farms, and were currently moving to protected areas in the forest.

He alleged that some individuals who claimed to have legal permits had started mining in a World Bank-protected concession and explained that “It’s illegal to mine in forests, and this forest has protected areas, where we cannot even work. Because world bank has already paid the government to preserve protected areas. but some politicians want to go above the law”.

Mr Asante recounted that “on August 04, a group of illegal miners with six excavators and eight locally manufactured galamsey washing plant guarded by heavily built men in military uniform illegally entered compartment 161 of the Tano Nimre Forest.

“Unlike the previous invasion in 2021, about 20acres of vegetation were destroyed within five days and it took the intervention of the combined military and forestry taskforce to stop their activities.”




The General Secretary alleged that on August 12, another mining company claimed they had been given a permit to mine in the same site under contention.

He said the forest concession was managed by Samartex for three purposes which were afforestation/plantations, production and the rest was protected.



He added that the lives of over 500,000 people in Samreboi depended on the continuous operation of Samartex therefore there was a need for government to treat the issue with all the urgency it deserved.

 

Source: graphiconline

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