Should the Atewa Forest Reserve be regarded as part of Ghana's national security architecture? In any serious nation, the watershed for three major river systems sourced for treated water supplied to major towns and cities, whose total population is counted in the millions, would definitely be protected and preserved for national security reasons.
Prolonged periods of water shortage negatively impacting the well-being of millions of urban dwellers has security implications. No question. It is in that light, which the very dangerous idea of allowing the rather poor-quality bauxite deposits in the Atewa Forest Reserve to be mined, ought to be seen. Nothing can justify that shortsighted and unwise decision. Full stop. Can our sister nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, not supply their more superior quality bauxite for a West African integrated aluminum industry supplying the continental free-trade area? Haaba.
China is a longstanding friend of our country's and is itself moving away from economic development, which exacerbates the negative effects of climate change on its people. The question is: Why do our elected leaders not approach China's leaders to call on SinoHydro (a Chinese state-owned company), to accept a new repayment plan that will, for example, give it a supply monopoly that will enable it partner the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to manufacture own-brand chocolate products in Ghana, for China's biggest supermarket chains?
With all the endless talk by our leaders, claiming that their regime is characterised by creative-thinking, why did the geniuses in their administration, who have jeopardised the well-being of present and future generations - by endangering the sources of the treated water supplied to millions in the southern half of Ghana - not think of other creative ways that could have provided SinoHydro with infrastructure pojects that would have still given that company equally lucrative income streams from Ghana?
Would SinoHydro not have happily accepted to self-finance the expansion and modernisation of Ghana's infrastructure - such as building concrete tolled motorways from Accra to all the regional capitals, and building modern tolled bridges across all the major rivers in Ghana, for example, in exchange for taking the revenues from them on a tax-free basis, for say 30 years as repayment? Haaba.
Since our leaders fear global opprobrium, more than anything else on the planet Earth, one's humble advice to the civil society organisations advocating for a rescinding of the decision to allow the bauxite in the Atewa Forest Reserve to be mined, by the government, is that they must move quickly to collaborate with the global activist and advocacy group, Avaaz.org, to launch a global campaign to shame SynoHydro into agreeing not to contest any termination by the government of Ghana, of the agreement with it to mine bauxite in the Atewa Forest Reserve, and turning it into a national park instead. Haaba.
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