10.12.2005 Regional News

Chiefs advised against selling lands close to lake

Chiefs advised against selling lands close to lake
LISTEN DEC 10, 2005

Kokoado (Ash), Dec 10 , GNA-Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, has advised chiefs against selling parcels of land very close to Lake Bosomtwe to investors for building purposes. He said if they refused to sell such lands to investors it would not imply that chiefs were opposed to investors injecting their monies into the development of the area.

It would rather, he said, demonstrate their willingness to protect the lake and environment against any degradation.

The advice was contained in an address read on behalf of the minister at the Final Tripartite Review meeting of the Lake Bosomtwe Biodiversity Conservation project at Kokoado near Kuntanase on Friday. The four-year project, which is being funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by Friends of the Earth, an NGO, is designed to conserve both plants and animal species in the Lake Bosomtwe basin by supporting traditional and community based conservation practices.

The project, which started in 2001, ends in December with two districts, namely Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma and the Amansie-East, together with 27 local communities participating.

Mr Boafo said, "Development must aim at improving the quality of life of people but not destroy the environment".

He said he was not happy that efforts at protecting and improving upon the state of Lake Bosomtwe might yield no great dividends if farming along the catchments area or the lake basin does not cease. Mr Boafo appealed not only to the chiefs but also opinion leaders and individuals resident in communities along the lake to check people who resort to farming along the Lake Bosomtwe basin. Mr Theophilus Anderson, the Director of Friends of The Earth, expressed dismay about the springing up of small-scale mining industries around the Lake Bosomtwe area.

In an address read for him, Mr Daouda Toure, the UNDP Resident Representative, appealed to chiefs and people of the Lake Bosomtwe area to continue with efforts at conserving the biodiversity even though the project had come to and end.