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02.07.2019 Feature Article

A Thank You Note To Opanin J. Ghana

A Thank You Note To Opanin J. Ghana

Dear Opanin J. Ghana,

Many thanks for your pithy and apt comment on my article (published on 30.06.2019) entitled, "Will It Have To Take A Mass Revolt To Halt The Destruction Of The Atewa Forest Reserve?"

Can you believe that the leaders of a civilised African people, whose ancestors, before the arrival of the first Europeans on our shores lived in harmony with Mother Nature, are intent on what is clearly a crime against humanity - destroying the watershed for three major river systems sourced for treating drinking water supplied to millions of Ghanaians in villages, towns and cities in a large part of the southern half of our country?

The question is: How can those elected to serve the Ghanaian people, act as if they were now our lords and masters, who are infallible beings incapable of errors of judgement - and go ahead to so callously commit to sacrificing the well-being of present and future generations of our people, for a paltry U. S. $2billions: at a time when global climate change is impacting vast swathes of the Ghanaian countryside so negatively? Amazing.

Talk about egregious short-sightedness. This outrage cannot be allowed to happen. No. Never. The Atewa Forest Reserve must be turned into a national park, instead, to anchor a new green economy underpinned by community-based ecotourism. That could create jobs galore for our younger generations and generate trillions of Ghana cedis that will remain in our nation's economy. Are there not trillions of dollars of yet-to-be-discovered medicinal plants in what is a designated Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA)?

Significantly, Opanin J. Ghana, the court system in Kenya has just ruled against a coal-fired power plant being built in the coastal town of Lamu. How very civilised to have African judges who are environmentally aware and seek the well being of ordinary citizens. And how just that the health of Kenyans and tourists in that fabulous seaside paradise, will not now be sacrificed for short-term gain for a greedy and powerful few - on the hideous alter of private greed.

Perhaps we in Ghana must take a leaf from our Kenyan cousins' environmental-activists'-play-book, and ask the law courts here to halt this abominable, unpardonable and unspeakable conspiracy to gang-rape Mother Nature - which mining the Atewa Forest Reserve's rather poor-quality bauxite deposits, actually represents: as it will turn the area into a hell-on-earth. An apocalyptic future is what awaits Akyem Abuakwa if this foolishness proceeds, not prosperity.

Finally, if we are bent on having an integrated aluminium industry (that as sure as day follows night will produce super-expensive aluminium, by the way), at least let us have the good sense to leave the Atewa Forest Reserve alone - and instead partner our sister nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to supply the bauxite needed to establish an integrated West African aluminium industry. Haaba. Hmmmm, Oman Ghana eyeasem o - asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa!


Yours in the service of Mother Ghana,


Kofi Thompson
Kofi Thompson, © 2019

This author has authored 331 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KofiThompson

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