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**Otumfuo is the King of Ashanti, But Why Do Chinese Easily Access Our Forests? Asks Papa Kwasi Nduom**

Papa Kwasi Nduom, a prominent politician , has raised concerns over the increasing encroachment of Chinese nationals into the forests of the Ashanti Region. In a public statement, Nduom questioned the ease with which these foreign entities gain access to protected areas, calling for immediate action to safeguard the region’s natural resources.

“Otumfuo is the King of Ashanti, but I don’t know why these Chinese easily have access to our forest in the Ashanti region,” Nduom remarked. His statement underscores a growing unease among locals about the exploitation of forest lands by foreign miners and loggers.

Nduom highlighted the significant environmental degradation resulting from illegal mining and logging activities, which threaten the biodiversity and ecological balance of the region. He emphasized that such activities not only harm the environment but also undermine the cultural heritage and sovereignty of the Ashanti people.

The Ashanti Region, known for its rich cultural heritage and natural resources, has seen a surge in illegal mining operations, often involving foreign nationals. These activities have led to deforestation, pollution of water bodies, and destruction of arable land, affecting both the environment and local livelihoods.

Nduom called on the authorities, including the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to take a firmer stance against illegal activities in the region. He urged the government to enforce stricter regulations and increase surveillance to protect the forests from further exploitation.

“It’s time for decisive action. Our forests are our heritage, and we must protect them for future generations,” Nduom stated. He proposed a collaborative approach involving traditional leaders, local communities, and government agencies to address the issue effectively.

The statement has sparked a wider debate about the balance between development and conservation in the region. Many locals support Nduom’s call for action, expressing frustration over the perceived leniency towards foreign exploiters at the expense of local communities.

Environmental groups have also voiced their support, urging the government to prioritize sustainable development and environmental protection. They warn that continued neglect could lead to irreversible damage to the region’s ecosystems and undermine the Ashanti Kingdom’s cultural legacy.

In response to these concerns, local authorities have promised to review existing policies and strengthen enforcement mechanisms. They acknowledge the need to protect the region’s natural resources while fostering sustainable economic growth.

As the debate continues, Nduom’s remarks serve as a poignant reminder of the need to safeguard the Ashanti Region’s forests from unchecked exploitation. The call to action reflects a broader desire among Ghanaians to preserve their natural and cultural heritage in the face of growing environmental challenges.

story filed by: Nana kwaku Duah

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