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15.08.2004 Education

Children in forest reserve denied education

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Abutia (V/R), Aug 15, GNA - The refusal of encroachers to be resettled outside the Kalakpa Resource Reserve at Abutia in the Ho District is denying 500 children the opportunity to go to school. Fifteen communities including Dzroawode and Fosime with population of over 2,500 people are located in the reserve, which was established by Legislative Instrument (LI.1022) of 1975 covering an area of about 325 square kilometres.

Mr Francis A. Agbotse, MP for Ho-West, who made this known to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said it was expected that the Ho District Assembly and Directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES) would authorise the construction of structures and post teachers to the area. He said in the absence of such intervention the only option left to the children was to assist their parents on their farms.

Mr Agbotse observed that the situation was a human tragedy, which needed immediate remedy to avoid wasting "potential human resources". He called for concerted approach to resolve the problem.

Mr Mawutor Goh, District Chief Executive (DCE), said the Assembly was consulting related agencies to resolve the issue.

He said that while there was the need to protect the reserve, alternative sources of livelihood should be found for the people living in the reserve.

Mr Victor Mensah, District Director of GES, told the GNA that he was not aware of the situation and gave the assurance that he would dispatch a team of Circuit Supervisors to the area to assess the situation.

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