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06.06.2019 Opinion

Destroying The Atewa Forest Reserve To Mine Bauxite: Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo & Co Must Put On Their Thinking Caps For A Change

By Kofi Thompson
Destroying The Atewa Forest Reserve To Mine Bauxite: Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo & Co Must Put On Their Thinking Caps For A Change

If I were still a young person, there is no question that I would be tempted to help overthrow the obdurate government, now in power in our country, which has apparently given the go-ahead for mining bauxite to take place in the Atewa Forest Reserve. Why destroy the Atewa Forest Reserve, when Guinea can partner Ghana to develop a West African integrated aluminium industry - by supplying bauxite for smelting in Tema?

Incredibly, the geniuses who now govern our homeland Ghana, have apparently been made to think that somehow bleeding-edge mining technology will ensure that the flora and fauna of the Atewa Range upland evergreen rainforest are not harmed in any way and that its delicate ecosystem (of what is a critical watershed for no less than three major river systems: the Densu, Birim and Ayensu) will not be destroyed. Amazing. Pure fantasy.

Is it not beyond belief that the future apocalyptic scenario now staring us in the face - in which most of southern Ghana will lack intake sources for its water treatment plants, to enable the production of treated drinking water for supplying the millions who live in that part of our country - if this lunacy goes ahead, is being ignored by our blockheaded leaders, despite widespread protests by discerning and independent-minded citizens who care about the plight of our younger generations and that of their unborn offspring?

Above all, why does it not strike our current leaders that SynoHydro could actually be persuaded to accept that mining in the Atewa Forest Reserve is now politically unacceptable to the vast majority of Ghanaians - meaning that because this is a democracy of active citizens, a new way to repay the US $2 billion SynoHydro is loaning Ghana, will simply have to be worked out, for that reason?

Just because Yaw Osafo Marfo & Co are unable to come up with creative ways to find the money needed to repay what SynoHydro has advanced to Ghana, thus far, should not lead to the destruction of the Atewa Forest Reserve - as a result of government sanctioning mining the rather poor-quality bauxite deposits it contains.

Finally, the question we ought to ponder over is: Why does it not strike Yaw Osafo Marfo & Co that they could approach Huawei, for example, and ask it to repay whatever sums SynoHydro has advanced to Ghana thus far - and, in return, Ghana gives that innovative Chinese tech-giant cast-iron assurances that it will be allowed to partner Ghana to roll out a 5G network across our nation, when the time comes? Ditto form a joint-venture with Ghana to enable Huawei to help other sub-Saharan African nations, to build their own 5G networks, too? Yaw Osafo Marfo & Co must put on their sodden thinking-caps for a change. Haaba.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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