Bauxite deal: Leave Atiwa forest alone – Group
A Rocha Ghana, a civil society organisation, has appealed to the government not to cede portions of the Atiwa forest for bauxite mining as part of government’s $19 billion deal with China.
According to the group, the Atiwa Forest Reserve in the Kwaebirem district serves as the main source for rivers Densu, Birim and Ayensu, hence any mining activity within the area will pollute the water bodies.
The Deputy National Director of A Rocha Ghana, Daryl Bosu, speaking in an interview with Class 91.3FM’s Jerry Akornor after a press conference in Accra on Wednesday July 5, said: “Ghana is now confronted with a very worrying development where the country or our leaders have gone into agreement with the Chinese to leverage our natural resources for bauxite money.
“As a coalition, we are not against this particular agreement but we want to impress upon government to do a very careful analysis so that areas of the country which are of high priority for biodiversity services and also very important for water provision services like Atiwa are taken out of this deal.
“We know bauxite doesn’t sit in the open, you need to take it from underground and a lot of these bauxite areas that have been listed in the deal are all lying under forest reserves, all of which are very sensitive areas.
“And, so, we are saying that government should be very sensitive to these important areas and not include them in the deal with the Chinese.
“It needs to be mentioned that we are not against the current deal the government is going through with the Chinese.”