Tema, Feb, 02, GNA - A six-man trade delegation from Sweden led by Ambassador Elisabeth Dahlin of the Sweden Ministry for Foreign Affairs has made a promise to the people of Tema to restore the Chemu lagoon to its original state.
Ambassador Dahlin made the promise when the delegation called on the Tema Traditional Council (TTC) during a tour of the industrial city on Thursday.
She said the delegation when back home, would negotiate with the Swedish government and other donor nations to finance the project, while calling on the multinational companies to put in their quota to restore the lagoon back to life.
She said through the tour of the municipality, she noted that the companies have contributed positively to the upkeep of the industrial city, yet they must take full responsibility of the effects of their productions on the environment and natural resources like the Chemu lagoon.
Ambassador Dahlin said the delegation, which was the first trade delegation to come to Ghana in the 350 years relationship between Ghana and Sweden was in the country to know how they could assist with the country's imports and to strengthen the relationship of the two countries, saying that, so far, about 36 Swedish companies were trading in the country.
Nii Adjei Kraku II, Tema Mantse, giving a brief history and the current state of the lagoon, said it used to be a source of livelihood for the people of Tema.
He, however, said due to the industrial activities in the municipality, the lagoon was now almost dried up with filth engulfing its banks and industrial waste replacing the once beautiful lagoon. Nii Kraku II said apart from the filth and industrial waste, the banks of the lagoon has been taken over by slum dwellers, causing its remains to overflow, even to the street, whenever it rained.
The Mantse said the TTC has tried to get financial help to restore the lagoon to its original state but to no avail, saying, "We hope our dream would come to pass with the fulfilment of your promise". Mr David Quaye-Annang, Tema Municipal Chief Executive told the delegation when it called on him earlier that, he hoped the visit would be the basis to step up Ghana's relationship with Sweden.
Mr Quaye-Annang said he believed the delegation would use their office to help support developmental programmes in the municipality and the country as a whole.
Mr Richster Amarfio, Executive Director of the Social Corporate Responsibility Movement (CSRM), a Tema based NGO on environment took the delegation round. CSRM acted as a facilitator of the visit. 02 Feb 06