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The chiefs and elders within the Atewa enclave have distanced themselves from a demonstration organised by members of the Concerned Citizens of the Atewa Landscape to protest against the government’s plan to mine bauxite in the Atewa Forest Reserve.
The youth group, on Tuesday, embarked on the march from Sagyimase to Kyebi to say no to the mining of bauxite. They claim the forest, which provides drinking water to five million people and harbours over 100 wildlife species, would be destroyed if the government goes on with its plans to mine its bauxite.
But, in an interesting twist of events, the chiefs and elders, on the other hand, have given their blessing to the government to mine the mineral.
In a statement issued by the chiefs and their elders, they expressed confidence that with the birth of the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC), the government would come up with environmentally-friendly and sustainable ways in developing the bauxite reserve.
“We must emphasise that we are not aware of any chief or community that is against the bauxite mining, but rather, the consensus is for us to continue engaging the government to ensure the project is implemented in a responsible and sustainable manner,” the chiefs said in a statement.
The chiefs, in their statement, said: “We also believe for over hundred years, the forest has remained a reserve awaiting a President like His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who has proven to Ghanaians he is a President of possibilities and will ensure value is added to our resources to achieve his vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
They praised the establishment of the GIADEC as a useful entity not to destroy resources, but to develop them for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
“We will like to state that we, the undersigned and Nananom living on the fringes of the reserve, disassociate ourselves from the demonstration organised by the Concerned Citizens of the Atewa Landscape.
"We call on Ghanaians living home and abroad to remember that Ghana Beyond Aid can only be achieved if we allow the government, through our supervision as citizens, to develop our resources competitively and sustainably through innovative ways,” the statement ended.
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