Civil Society Organisations Match To Present Petition To Stop The Mining Of Atewa
A group of civil society organizations marched in Accra to protest and present a petition to parliament against the mining of bauxite in the Atewa Forest reserve. The civil society organizations together with some celebrities and members of the general public, took to the streets of Accra to peacefully protest in a match to voice out their displeasure about government’s intention to mine bauxite in the Atewa Forest reserve for commercial purposes.
The coalition says mining of bauxite in commercial quantities could have harmful consequences on the forest reserve and the communities surrounding the reserve. According to the group, the Atewa forest reserve serves as home to some endangered wildlife species, tree species, medicinal plants and also as a source for very important rivers across the country.
The communications person for the coalition, Mr Obed Addai from EcoCare Ghana, addressed the protesters before they started the match. He advised participants about the reason for the match, which rout they are using, no use of violent and strong words, no littering and stated emphatically that it is a peaceful match to exhibit a displeasure about government’s decision to mine the forest reserve.
He went on to express his disapproval with government because according to him the Atewa forest reserve was made a Designated Forest Reserve in 1926 and houses the headwaters of the Birim, Densu and Ayensu rivers which serves as a source of water for the surrounding towns and villages. The Atewa forest reserve is also recognized globally for its biodiversity and provides water for five million Ghanaians
The conveners of the protest against mining in Atewa, Darly Bosu from Arocha Ghana, said “this was only one of many activities planned to get the government to change its decision”.
The leaders of the coalition on behalf of their group presented their petition to the Majority leader in parliament, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, who received it with other members present on behalf of parliament and promised to deliver it to parliament for consideration in due time.
The coalition includes AROCHA Ghana, EcoCare Ghana, Civic response, KASA initiative, Forest watch Ghana, Tropenbos Ghana, UN youth Ghana, Friends of the earth Ghana. The US Forest Service and Christian council of Ghana are among other organizations that have also added their voice to the fight to stop government from mining the Atewa forest.