The Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape (CCAL) on January 21, 2020, embarked on a massive demonstration to protest government’s plan to mine the Atewa Forest for bauxite.
The protest, which measured a distance of three kilometres from Segyemase to Kyebi in the Eastern Region of Ghana, garnered close to 500 protesters.
This is not the first time the group has protested over the Atewa bauxite mining plan
The group together with other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and individuals have embarked on a series of campaigns including a 95km walk from the heart of the Atewa Forest to Greater Accra all in the bid to steer government away from its decision. But the Government of Ghana has consistently demonstrated no interest in these efforts.
Clad in red attires, head and wrist bands and chanting war songs, the petitioners carried placards some of which read: ‘Water For 5 Million Voters At Risk. Save Atewa’, ‘There Is Nothing To Compromise With A Healthy Environment’, ‘The Earth Is Our Home So Why Destroy It’, and ‘Save Water Save Life’, amongst others.
This could be the umpteenth time CCAL has called on Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government to rescind their decision to mine the Atewa Forest and to immediately declare Atewa Forest to the world as a National Park.
This they said would be exemplary and deserving of the President’s position as Co-Chair to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UN Secretary-General and Okyenhene, petitioned
The group in a press statement made an appeal to the United Nations to add their voice of reason to the fight against what many conservationists have branded as an environmental disaster in waiting.
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Gutteres
“We hereby use this opportunity to petition the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Gutteres, to add his voice to the fight against bauxite mining in Ghana’s Atewa Forest”, the statement read.
Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin
CCAL further made a clarion call to the Overlord of the Akyem Abuakwa state, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin, that he should impress on the government to abort plans of mining in the protected Atewa Forest Reserve.
Appeals were not the only statements made during the demonstration; the group led by its President, Mr. Oteng Adjei, sent out stern warnings to investors who are already planning on building their wealth on Atewa’s bauxite.
“To the investor community, you better watch out because we as concerned citizens will resist every effort of yours to mine bauxite in the Atewa Forest. It will be better if you invested in eco-tourism for which the forest presents a great potential,” he said.
He continued: “To our colleague community members who are not yet convinced to join the fight, let me refer you to some West African Fable which goes like this: The forest was shrinking but the trees kept voting for the axe. For the axe was clever and convinced the trees that, because his handle was wood, he was one of them.”
The Concern Citizen of the Atewa Landscape represents all 48 communities surrounding the Atewa Forest.
Find Full statement Here