Some Concerned Citizens of the Atewa Landscape have staged a demonstration over an effort to put pressure on the government to halt its plans to mine bauxite deposit in the Atewa Forest Reserve.
The group, two years ago staged a demonstration against the planned mining of bauxite in the Atewa forest reserve and have staged another today.
The demonstration organized by the group took place on the streets of Sagyimase to Kyebi in the Eastern Region today demanding that the Atewa Forest be excluded from the Syinihydro deal.
The Concerned Citizens of the Atewa Landscape contend that the mining of bauxite at Atewa forest reservoir will affect the lives of 5 million people who use the three(3) major rivers in the forest.
Speaking to Starr FM, the leader of the group Nana Yaw Ampem-Darko said they are not going to rest but will pile pressure on the government and calling other international bodies to intervene on the matter and threatened to go to court if the government fails to halt plans of its mining activities in the Atewa forest.
”The government is adamant, and the only thing we can tell him now is to stop what they plan to do. After a similar demonstration 2 years ago, the Minister of Science and Technology Professor Frimpong Boateng had a press briefing and told the press that we embarked on the demonstration are galamseyers. I have not even mined before and I am not a galamsayer. What we are doing is for the best of the country not our personal gain. We want them to stop because of how relevant the forest is. Or else the demonstration will continue. If they don’t stop we will go to court”.
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He also added that there are a lot of resources Ghana can explore for its developmental purposes
”We have oil, gold and everything why do they want to destroy the mountain which gives us oxygen to breathe? Some people have only oil but can use it for other great things in their country. We are pleading with government to have mercy on us and leave our oxygen for us to breathe. Infact, the water we drink is from this mountain and if you excavate this mountain where are we going to get water to drink?”, he quizzed.
The group which is one of many who have embarked on a number of protests in the past over the development has also petitioned the government to rescind its decision to mine in the forest, which is internationally recognized as one of the highest priority ecosystems.
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The government has come under serious criticism over the decision to mine bauxite in the forest as part of a $2 billion Chinese infrastructure deal questioning President Akufo-Addo’s commitment to protecting the country’s forest resources.