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E/R: GIADEC condemned by Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape over Bauxite Mining in Atewa Forest

Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape (CCAL) have strongly condemned Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Cooperation (GIADEC) for being insensitive by disregarding various concerns regarding the negative impact of bauxite mining in Atewa Forest will have on the environment.

In a statement issued on Thursday, August 18, 2022, the group said “We Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape has learned with disdain and utmost chagrin the announcement of GIADEC on Friday the 5th August 2022 that it had finalized negotiations with its preferred strategic partner for the planned bauxite mining in the Atewa Forest (Project 3) and that the deal was going through the necessary approval processes”.

The statement signed by the President of the group, Oteng Adjei accused GIADEC of acting like a “TIN GOD by ignoring and rubbishing the fact that, the issue of bauxite mining in the Atewa enclave is a contentious issue pending before the courts. A lot has been said and written about the immense benefits Atewa offers humanity in general and the country in particular. But rather preposterously GIADEC for the satisfaction of its ego and or parochial interest is bent on destroying the treasured Atewa forest. GIADEC feels like working for itself, forgetting that it works at the behest of the country”

The group cited that “No wonder, Dr. Oteng – Yeboah a retired Professor at the Dept. of Plant and Environmental Biology, University of Ghana has this to say and I quote ‘’some of these unpatriotic officers who have been employed to protect the state, receiving salaries from the state but work for themselves. Some even go to the extent of conniving and teaching foreigners on how to circumvent and cheat the system by exposing loopholes.”

The group is threatening to deal with GIADEC using all means as bauxite mining has never benefited any host community.

“Probably the time is now more than opportune to let GIADEC know and come to its senses that, we the citizens of Ghana are not in support of the rather disastrous planned bauxite mining in Atewa Forest. If for over 100 years of bauxite mining the entire workforce of the Awaso Mines is not up to 400 persons, then one can conclude safely that the creation of jobs is just a figment of the imagination of GIADEC. It defies logic to conclude that if about 70% of the entire bauxite deposits in the country cannot finance infrastructural development, how can a mere 21% do so?

“Reputable international organizations including the IUCN have overwhelmingly voted against the mining of bauxite in Atewa, yet the almighty GIADEC deems all as reckless and an absurdity to go against logical reasoning of these organizations”.

Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape are more worried about the impact of the bauxite mining on rivers Birim, Ayensu, and Densu which takes their headwaters in the forest stating that over 5 million Ghanaians are likely to be affected.

“Even the fate of the over 5 million people whose existence in terms of potable water are hinged on Atewa forest, do not mean anything to the GIADEC, especially the rural folks. Civil society is well aware of the devastation galamsey has caused the landscape of the country with the unprecedented levels of pollution of river bodies, and yet GIADEC is determined to carry out the disastrous bauxite mining to exacerbate an already precarious water situation. This action of GIADEC if left unchecked and blocked will ultimately lead to the importation of potable water for the citizenry, a fear the Ghana Water Company Limited has been trumpeting of late. We can’t be equated with the philosophical lyrics of a song that states that in the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty. Yes, the rivers would be flowing but yet none can drink from them”

The statement concluded that “not even the voice of the Overlord of Akyem Abuakwa, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin demanding the preservation of Atewa sounds reasonable enough for GIADEC to leave Atewa forest out of its Integrated Aluminium Industry.

“The CCAL, therefore, fully supports the clarion call of Osagyefo to turn the Atewa Forest into a National Park and an Eco -tourist destination. In this regard, CCAL will fully support any such move and will partner with any institution or association to resist to the hilt and with vehemence and within legitimate means any move to mine bauxite in the reserve. Civil society thus sends signals to GIADEC that it has crossed the red line and that the time is up for the spitting of ‘RED SALIVA’ as the Akans put it for it to see”.

Source: desk

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