An aquaculture project comprising a suite of fish growth schemes integrated with livestock rearing, a year-round leafy vegetable farming and ecotourism has been commissioned at Homase in the Amansie Central District of Ashanti.
The project is worth five billion cedis. It is the first major project under the AngloGold Ashanti (Obuasi) sustainable development programme. It is designed to emphasize the use of technological innovations and scientific knowledge in modern aquaculture practices.
The project is the result of consultations between AngloGold Ashanti, Homase communities and other stakeholders over the use of the mined out pits of economic benefits following the decommissioning of the company's surface mining operations at Homase in December, 2003.
Mr. A. Adjei-Yeboah, the Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines who commissioned the project, said the ceremony was a significant milestone in the emerging pattern of creative relationship between the nation's mining companies and the mining communities.
He said the aquaculture project has a basis for viable economic activities that would benefit the communities and generations yet unborn.
The Deputy Minister however, drew attention to imminent dangers associated with deep-water bodies and advised that safety practices must be observed.
"We have to exercise great care in ensuring that the expected benefits are derived in safety. I also entreat AngloGold Ashanti to ensure that a trained and equipped core team is put in place to manage the facility", he said.
Mr Y.B. Amponsah, the General Manager for Sustainable Development Programmes of AngloGold Ashanti, said the project marked the fulfillment of the company's statutory obligation in the area of mine decommissioning as well as strengthening the already strong historical ties with the people of Amansie.
He said AngloGold Ashanti was a socially responsible global mining company with solid community partnership achievement.
Mr Amponsah appealed for support from the Assembly, the Bekwai Traditional Council, the Ministry of Fisheries and other stakeholders to ensure the success of the project.