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General News of Monday, 27 July 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ghana’s third largest forest reserve under threat, residents protest

Residents of 'Abrokyire Krobo' expressing anger towards the destruction of their forest play videoResidents of 'Abrokyire Krobo' expressing anger towards the destruction of their forest

Residents of 'Abrokyire Krobo', a community located in the Wassa Amenfi East Municipality of the Western region are protessting the destrction of what is said to be the third largest forest reserve in the country.

The 35.9 square kilometer forest named "Tonton" reserve is situated 20 Kilometers away from Wassa Akropong, the capital of Wassa Amenfi East.

Upon investigations by Accra FM, it has been alleged that, the land commission, minerals commission, forestry commission and the Environmental Protection Agency, have issued a fossicking licence to one Kofi Antwi, whose company is "KOANTWI MINING COMPANY LIMITED" to ply the forest.

The forest has since been under destruction as some parts had been cleared by excavator and chainsaw operators who were seen felling the trees.

"They told us that, it was Kofi Antwi who has ordered them to do so for a structure to be put up in the forest to house workers for the mining. When i called on Kofi Antwi at his Diaso office, he admitted that, he had been given a licence to mine in the forest, he said, the late forestry commissioner, Mr Kwaku Afriyie also known as Sir John, signed his forestry documents for him before passing away. I requested for a copy of the licence but he refused to do so that unless his lawyer asked him to do so.

"I further went to the Omanhene of Wassa Amenfi, who is the custodian of the land, Tetrete Akuamoah Sekye II, he asserted that, the information has reached him but he is not in support of the government's decision to give out the forest reserve for mining.

"My investigations took me to a 'ABROKYIRE KROBO' a community within the Wassa Amenfi, where I came across a group of concerned youths of five communities who are the bonafide owners of the forestry land. Thy were demonstrating against the government and the traditional rulers of the land for leasing the forest to a "galamseyer"," A resident told reporter Samuel Addo.

Speaking with the leader of the demonstrators Mr John King Amoah who is a retired educationist, he called on the government and major stakeholders to reconsider their decision to stop the mining company from further destroying the forest for galamsey activities before is too late.

He added that, as citizens they will not sit and watch people destroy and cause harm to the environment and its people.

"We have experienced the dangers and shortage of food and other negative effects illegal mining has brought us as a country, he added. He is therefore appealing to the government and all political figures and top Journalist who have hands in that deal as soon as possible put a stop to it for them to have their freedom," He stated



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