Preserving the remainder of Ghana's dwindling rain forests

Wed, 30 May 2012 Source: Thompson, Kofi

Years ago, some of us predicted that if urgent steps weren't taken to protect the remainder of Ghana's forest cover, our nation would end up having to import timber to satisfy local demand.

At the time, some thought we were being unduly alarmist. Alas, that prediction has now come to pass - Ghana having recently negotiated a deal to import timber from Cameroon.

If officialdom allows Solar Mining and Kibi Goldfields to get away with putting facts on the ground first, before seeking environmental permits afterwards, they must not be surprised if the three major river systems on which a swathe of southern urban Ghana depends on for its drinking water supply - the Ayensu, the Densu and the Birim - and which take their headwaters from the Atewa Range, eventually dry up and disappear altogether.

Perhaps the next generation of Ghanaians will then spend some of the money put aside from the relatively paltry sums (compared to the cash rolling in to it, in the East African oil production agreement, which Africa Oil wrung out of Tullow Oil) we are making from the exploitation of our oil and natural gas deposits today, to import icebergs (if there are any left on the planet Earth by then, that is) for their drinking water supply?

Well, to avert that apocalyptic day, we must endeavour to do all we can today, to make fringe forest communities benefit financially, from protecting the remainder of our nation's rain forests - particularly the unique Atewa Range upland evergreen rain forest.

Community-based eco-tourism and community carbon sequestration projects, for example, could make a real difference to local people's living standards, by creating a thriving and green sustainable local economy.

The Ghanaweb Commenteriat's response to my piece on tribal-supremacist individuals, nationwide

It is instructive that some, merely upon reading a piece that speaks up for Ewes - said to be favoured by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime of President Mills by some of its critics - on www.ghanaweb.com's features web-page, immediately jumped to the conclusion that one was an Ewe too. And on that basis, proceeded to label one a "tribal-supremacist" and a "bigot". Incredible.

Well, actually, as it happens, one isn't - but one thanks them all the same for making one an honorary Ewe. It is a badge one will wear with considerable pride, in a manner of speaking, henceforth.

As a matter of fact, for me, the ethnic background of my fellow Ghanaian citizens has never mattered - right from my boyhood days as a pre-teen boarder at the University Primary School in Kumasi (that vibrant city of my birth - in Kwadaso's CSIR area to be precise - full of the most welcoming of peoples) through to the ending of my Ghanaian education at Prempeh College (Osei Tutu House).

What do those who made up their minds that I was an Ewe - without a shred of evidence whatsoever to do so - have to say about their making assumptions not based on facts? God give us patience.

Finally, I'd like to point out that despite what the author says, I have never written and posted any "inflammatory" piece (or comment) "full of hate", anywhere online, including www.ghanaweb.com. Kofi Thompson hates no one because of their ethnic origins.

The phrase "Nkrumah's Ghana"

Whiles his ethnocentric opponents wanted a post-independence nation-state that was a federation consisting of pre-colonial tribal entities, Nkrumah advocated for a unitary state that would be the modern homeland of one African people with a common destiny as Ghanaian citizens.

In polls held in 1951, 1954 and1956, the ordinary people of the Gold Coast voted overwhelmingly for the united Ghana, whose people would share a common destiny, which Nkrumah envisioned.

That is what the phrase "Nkrumah's Ghana" alludes to. It does not, and has never implied, that Nkrumah owns Ghana. Naturally, one makes allowance for those who erroneously assume the opposite. Brofu enye yen kasa, meboa? Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem oo.

Thanks and best wishes to the following who made comments - all of which one welcomes and has taken note of:

Pumpuni Posted: 2012-05-28 00:28:40

Alhaji Gariba Posted: 2012-05-28 00:37:02

Master Posted: 2012-05-28 00:42:48

MARCUS AMPADU Posted: 2012-05-28 01:22:48

Yaw Posted: 2012-05-28 01:25:04

LONTO-BOY Posted: 2012-05-28 02:13:54

Author: Idiots article Posted: 2012-05-28 02:18:30

MARCUS AMPADU Posted: 2012-05-28 02:22:35

Kofi Sarpong, Peckham, London Posted: 2012-05-28 03:29:09

Author: oppong london Posted: 2012-05-28 03:39:17

Paulo Posted: 2012-05-28 03:48:35

NANA KUMASIHENE Posted: 2012-05-28 08:32:15

Akadu Mensema Posted: 2012-05-28 09:16:50

PAKYI MAN Posted: 2012-05-28 09:32:29

Author: mensah abrampah Posted: 2012-05-28 09:57:03

Agyanim Posted: 2012-05-28 12:35:54

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi