Accra, Nov. 30, GNA - Mr Simon Osei-Mensah on Wednesday opposed any form of mining in the Lake Bosomtwi Basin, as it would compromise the ecology of Ghana's only natural lake.
"The issue of mining has been a great source of worry to the communities and any decision to prospect minerals within the Basin of the lake should be viewed in terms of the short and medium term benefits of mining against the long-term benefits of tourism and socio-economic livelihood of the people."
The member was making a statement on: "Lake Bosomtwe - A Woefully Under Tapped Golden Natural Tourism Resource" in Parliament. He said the development of the lakeside and other tourism destinations in the country would not only enhance the country's foreign exchange purse but also help host district assemblies to rake in more revenue to reduce poverty.
"Ghana earned 600 million dollars in 2003 from tourism. Notwithstanding, this positive contribution of the sector, most of the tourism potentials of the country are either under tapped or not developed at all. Lake Bosomtwe is no exception to this under development."
He said: "UNESCO has recognised the Lake Basin as a World Heritage Site being the largest lake in the world caused by the impact of a meteorite. Sadly, however, the Basin has not been developed." According to the Member, the road network along the lake is among the worst in the country.
"After one travels to Abono, the most accessible village on the shores of the Lake, one can hardly travel to any other community without the use of a four wheel drive vehicle."
He said the telephone system did not exist in the area and hotels put up by local investors were operating under capacity. The Member asked that a percentage of the budgetary allocations of key ministries such as Tourism, Energy and Roads Transport should be reserved for the development of facilities such as roads, water and electricity.
He called for the development of a cable car system to make transportation and watching easy on the steep slopes of the Lake Basin. Mr Lee Ocran, NDC-Jomoro, called for the development eco-tourism in the country since the over emphasis on slave trade and its memories could turn most sensitive white people away.
He said most white people could not stand the fact that their ancestors were that brutish. He said Ghanaian hotels were too expensive to patronise adding that it drove many a potential tourist away.