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General News of Friday, 21 June 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

NGOs march to demand protection of Atewa Forest from mining

The group says mining of bauxite in commercial quantities could have dire consequences on the forest

A group of civil society organisations marched in Accra to protest against the mining of bauxite in the #Atewa Forest.

Together with members of the general public, the CSOs poured onto the streets of Accra to peacefully protest government’s plan to mine bauxite in the Atewa Forest.

The group says mining of bauxite in commercial quantities could have dire consequences on the forest which serves as home to some endangered wildlife and also as a source of water for most rivers across the country.

One of the conveners of the Coalition against mining in Atewa, Darly Bosu, said this was only one of many activities planned to get the government to rescind the decision.

The group presented their petition to the Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu who promised to address the issue in due time.

At the end of May, Citi news reported that the government has already started clearing roads in the forest. The Coalition of NGO’s said it will take further action to save the forest.

“Bigger options are on the table, we plan to go as far as to the Chinese government to also petition them that they will be investing in a venture that will destroy water sources for over 5 million Ghanaians,” the convenor said to Citi News.

The Christian Council of Ghana, AROCHA Ghana and the US Forest Service are among the organizations that have reached out to the government to urge them to avoid mining in the forest.

A common issue that has been raised by all the NGO’s that have spoken up is the fact that the forest is recognized globally for its biodiversity and provides water for 5 million Ghanaians.

Atewa forest was made a Designated Forest Reserve in 1926 and houses the headwaters of the Birim, Densu and Ayensu rivers.