"I Support Abu Jinapor On The Burning Of Excavators" - MESTI Minister

The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr. Kwaku Afriyie (MP) says he is in support of the burning of Excavators by the Operation Halt Team following their fight against illegal galamsey operators and their operations in the country.

According to him, the Excavators used by the illegal miners have not only destroyed lands but also some nature resources.

Speaking at a press briefing in Accra on Wednesday, he said "I have seen the devastation they are causing. I side with Minister A Jinapor so much in the burning of the Excavators. The have caused a lot of damages"

"The galamseyers destroyed many farms including mine. They should be even jailed 15 to 25 years"

"If you calculate the carbon that they are producing through the burning of Excavators, it is not as bad as the activities of the galamseyers"

Months ago, a directive was given by government to have the Excavators being used by the illegal mining operators burnt.

The directive however received mixed reactions as some scores of Ghanaians described the directive as heartless while other commended government for taking such action.

The Minister also added that his Ministry is not considering the ban of plastics in the country.

Responding to his tours of some plastic production firms in Tema and Ashaiman, he said, "Yes, I have toured other regions. Recently we were in Kwahu to create the awareness of plastics"

Touching on the transition to low carbon future under building climate resilience, he explained "Climate finance is one of the strategies to mobilize finance from the carbon market to support implement of the Nationally Determined Contributions"

Throwing more light on the environmental protection on the Appiatse Explosion, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie (MP) said his sector provided some technical and financial support to the survivors.

He stressed that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted two (2) impact assessment of the environment to determine the Ammonium Nitrate levels.

Subsequently, an approval was given to the District Assembly to begin work on the land.

"EPA is continuing with strict enforcement as per its mandate to prevent future explosions"

The Minister also revealed that the EPA is considering Emergency escort service licensed for transporters and dealers of hazardous substances.

On food security and poverty reduction, the Minister noted that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has conserved 636 and distributed 186 plant accessing during the year under review.

"This is to ensure the country preserves its plant genetic material for posterity. 14 germplasms developed for climate smart agriculture"

He added that 2500kg of maize breeder and foundation seeds were supplied to seed growers to produce certified seeds for farmers under Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ).

On nuclear power, he said "Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) through the Nuclear Power Institute has partnered SKT AeroShutter to deliver enhanced Drone services to support the project feasibility.

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith