The Bishop of the Diocese of Damongo and Chairman of the Ghana Prisons Council, Most Rev.Peter Paul Angkyier says the people of the newly created Savannah region would continue to remain under the chains of poverty if the wanton destruction of the environment is not checked pronto.
In decrying the gravity of deforestation in the region, he said there was the fierce urgency of now in tackling the menace, adding that, the church has been a lone voice in this crusade.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by Msgr. Tawoni Augustine at the St.Anne's Cathedral on the occasion of the visit of the President of the Republic, he reiterated the fact that Savannah region has great agricultural potentials, which could contribute significantly to feeding the country if well developed.
"It is sad to note that for almost a decade now, the church has been a lone voice in the fight against the serious deforestation and attack on our environment. The Savannah region has great agricultural potential,if well developed could contribute extensively to the feeding of the people of this country. The issue of the deforestation in all corners of the region has to be addressed with great urgency; otherwise, despite the positive economic indicators of development, we would still remain captives to the situation of poverty," he forewarned.
Whilst describing the visit of the president as historic, he expressed gratitude to the president for the gift of the Savannah region and bear down on the commitment of the church to its further growth.
As a multi-ethnic society, he emphasized the need for peace and the integration of the various ethnic groups, stating that, "there can be no development without peace".
With specific reference, he said the chieftaincy disputes in the region have been a major source of division in some communities and a challenge to the development of the area.
The Bishop added his voice to the many voices calling on successive governments' to look seriously into the water situation of the people of Damongo, noting that, "Water is life".He charged the president to help address once and for all, the challenging situation of water supply in Damongo and its surrounding communities.
His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo in his tour of the newly created Savannah region made time to worship with the Catholic faithfuls of the St.Anne's Cathedral in Damongo.
In his brief remark, the president hesitated to bring to the notice of the congregation the costly nature of chieftaincy disputes.
He said the amount of money government expended in resolving the Dagbon chieftaincy crisis would make the "mouth of the congregation open" if disclosed.
He said his government, since, assuming office has been waging a relentless war against galamsey and the devastation of our water bodies and land scale.
He assured the Catholic church which has been a lone voice in the fight against the depletion of the forest cover in the region that, they have found another partner and that partner is the government of Nana Addo Daquah Akuffo-Addo.
On the Damongo water situation, he revealed that there is good news and the good news is that, this Thursday, that is when cabinet meets, they were going to consider a memorandum from the Minister for Water and Natural Resources and the Minister for Finance asking for approval for the Damongo water to be initiated. The water he said, would be drawn from the Yapei river, stating that, "Very soon, you will see work that would begin the installation of the Damongo water project and hopefully, very soon an end to the water problem which has been a big blight on your lives here".
The president was accompanied by the Minister of Roads and Highways, hon. Amoako Attah; the Minister for Regional Reorganisation, hon.Dan Botwe; the two Deputy Chiefs of Staff at the office of the president; regional ministers, MMDCE from the Savannah region; NPP General Secretary, Mr.John Boadu ad infinitum.