Collective front of chieftaincy needed to prevent further destruction of environment- Azongo

A Development Consultant has stressed the need for a collective front of the chieftaincy institution to help prevent the further destruction of the country's environment, natural resources and water bodies. Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, a former consultant to the National House of Chiefs (NHC), said the wanton mass destruction of communities, forest reserves, dangerous chemical infected water bodies and the death of the country's ecological system must engage traditional leadership priority. 'The state of our water bodies, forest resources and the threat to the quality of life of our people in our communities bear eloquent testimony and weighty evidence than the usual political rhetoric of stemming the tide of illegal mining, and such other devastations, under the ruse of community mining. 'I must emphasize that no infrastructural development can compensate for a nation when the very foundation of their life, wellbeing and sustenance as a people is under threat', he told the Ghana News Agency in an interview i n Kumasi. Mr Azongo pointed out that the need for chieftaincy collective efforts to address some of these challenges were very crucial at this stage of the country's situation. 'They need to come together for an immediate declaration of traditional area state of emergency by the chiefs and people of all traditional areas to mobilize communal support to prevent further destruction of our environment, forest resources and water bodies', he stated. He said it was time the chieftaincy institution called for a review of the outlived colonial policy of appropriating community natural resources for central control and exploitation. 'Secondly, they need to call for a review of the outlived colonial policy of appropriating community natural resources for central control and exploitation. 'This age-long colonial policy of appropriating minerals and other natural resources of value from the communities for crown control is the root cause of the devastation of our forest resources and water bodies. 'The politically engineered concessions from Accra, side-stepping and clipping the wings of traditional leaders, whose primary mandate is to protect the forest and water bodies, not only as a communal resource heritage and sanctuaries of their gods, but also the life of the unborn generation, must stop', he emphasized. Mr Azongo pointed out that, it was worrying to hear that, Ghana is the Africa's top gold producer and an oil producing country. He asked 'how can Ghana be said to be currently Africa's top gold producer and an oil producing country, and yet poverty is widespread and further exacerbated by the debt burden and its taxing consequences on businesses, development, and the population, including pensioners. How can one justify and celebrate this status when thousands of schools are under trees; 21st century major international and intra-regional roads are still in single lanes devouring breadwinning Ghanaians in horrific numbers on regular basis through head-on collisions and frightening unemployment situation in t he country. Mr Azongo pointed out that if the chiefs could not protect forest resources, rivers and water bodies and guarantee dividends of these resources to the people, the value of the chieftaincy institution would be questioned. Source: Ghana News Agency