The Atewa forest reserve, one of Ghana’s last surviving rainforests has been a target for mining of bauxite, several investors have been eyeing the spot. Many have kicked against the idea of mining in the forest reserve stating that, mining in the area will pollute some major water bodies as well as endanger human and animal lives.
In 2003, the DCE for East Akim, Emmanuel Victor Asihene, stood his ground against mining of bauxite in the Atewa forest. He stated that, several mining communities have been degraded due to poor mining practices. He therefore suggested that the possibility of mining bauxite at Atewa forest should be left to the future generation when better technologies for mining will be developed.
Presently, the government of Ghana, has signed the Sinohydro barter deal which would see the country exchange its share of bauxite for US$2bn which is targeted for the construction of infrastructural projects in the country. Several individuals and stakeholders have called on government to reconsider its decision to mine in Atewa Forest until a full Strategic Environmental Assessment to comprehend the impact of mining on the environment is made available.
Read the full story originally published on December 5, 2003, on Ghanaweb
The East Akim District Chief Executive, Emmanuel Victor Asihene has called on prospective companies interested in investing in the Atewa Forest reserve, Eastern Region, to consider options other than mining bauxite. He has therefore suggested the exploitation of timber resources in the forest in place of mining.
Mr Asihene told a group of investors from B.H.P. Billiton, Ghana that the people in the area have now resolved to leave bauxite mining for future generations when better technology for mining would have been developed.
This is because mining in the country has left most mining towns environmentally degraded, a situation that the people of Kibi want to avoid.
The DCE’s call comes just a week after the Okyehene expressed similar sentiments, which was condemned by Minerals Commission.
B.H.P Ghana, which is interested in bauxite mining, visited the area to assess the situation there and the future of the project. But Mr Asihene said the hopes of the people in the area to benefit from mining in the past have dwindled because they are now engaged in other viable economic projects.
The leader of the team, Mr. Riet, said the proposed investment was at the concept stage and the company had not yet been given a prospecting license to enter the area.