Ghana risks facing severe water crisis if it sacrifices its bauxite resources in the Atiwa Forest Reserve in Kyebi, to contract the $15 billion facility from the People’s Republic of China.
More than 5 million Ghanaians including residents in some parts of Accra may not have access to potable water when the move is initiated.
This is according to a report by A-Rocha Ghana, an environmental NGO in the country focused on the preservation of natural resources.
A member of the NGO, Darly Bosu, told Umaru Sanda Amadu on Eyewitness News that many Ghanaians will lose access to potable water if the government goes ahead to mine bauxite to repay the loan, while creating jobs out of it.
“Going for this bauxite area is something Ghana shouldn’t think about at all. Certain implications come to face us as Ghanaians if we go ahead with this arrangement with the Chinese. We are foreseeing water supply to about 5 million people becoming impossible in about 5 years to come, immediately they start bauxite work in this area. It is something we cannot risk,” he said.
It emerged on Tuesday that the government was looking at leveraging its natural resources especially bauxite to contract the $15 billion loan from the Chinese government.
According to the Economic Adviser to the Vice President, Dr. Gideon Boako, the government through the agreement will construct bauxite refineries which will generate enough income to settle the loan.
But according to Mr. Bosu, it is not economical to do so comparing the cost benefit analysis of keeping the forest intact and opting for mining.
He said besides the stress it will put on the country’s water resources, some of the world’s endangered animal species currently found in the Atiwa forest will be lost as a result of government’s planned venture.
“The bauxite industry that we are talking about, if we really go for it, we can only have it for about 20 years. If you want to look at the long-term sustainability of a country you don’t risk losing all your eggs today,” he noted.
“If we want to really look in the future, we need to find ways of sustainably exploring the resources that we have without necessarily eroding the natural capital. Bauxite mining will completely destroy this forest reserve which is significant to biodiversity, water, and several other ecosystem services,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, has indicated that, the potential mining of Bauxite could see the forest reserve in Kyebi compromised.
He told Citi News in an interview that, “the bauxite at Kyebi is low grade, but it is under the Kyebi forest reserve which has been declared a global biodiversity area because of the presence of exotic species.”
“The UN is protecting the forest to ensure that we continue to get the benefit of these exotic species, the plants, and fauna that are in the forest…if you do national resource accounting, the resources over there, which is renewable, is definitely more than $15 billion dollars,” he said.
Join GhanaStar.com to receive daily email alerts of breaking news in Ghana. GhanaStar.com is your source for all Ghana News. Get the latest Ghana news, breaking news, sports, politics, entertainment and more about Ghana, Africa and beyond.
(Via: CitiFM Online Ghana)