Friday, 12 August

Don't dare to mine in Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site — Effutu chief warns gov't

General News
Neenyi Ghartey VII, Paramount Chief of Effutu Traditional Area, in a group photo with chiefs in the Effutu Traditional Area, after the press conference

The Effutu Traditional Council has served a strong notice of caution to the government that it will not allow any mining activity to go on in the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site in Winneba.

Addressing the press on Monday, June 27, 2022, at the Effutu Ekroful Community Centre near Ateitu, Winneba, in the Central Region, the Paramount Chief of Effutu Traditional Area, Neenyi Ghartey VII, underscored that the Effutus attach so much importance to the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar site and will not trade it for any activity.

This, he explained, was because of the historical, cultural, environmental and economic ties Effutus have with the site.    

"Our authorities will not do the right thing but what they want to hear is violence, when it is this calm, they refused to act accordingly," he stated.

Though he said they were a law-abiding people and will not want the issue to degenerate and “get nasty," he affirmed that they will do whatever it takes to protect their heritage.

The press conference was in reaction to recent media reports of an intended mining prospecting within the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar site by Green Metal Resources Limited.

Clad in red and flanked by chiefs within the Effutu Traditional Area, who were also in red, Neenyi Ghartey VII said it was worrying that the whole process by the government has been shrouded in secrecy, describing the company’s application as vicious, “hence its clandestine nature of the publication.”

He said allowing mining in the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar site will have dire consequences for their environment.

“A mining operation established as applied for will clear the vegetation to pave way for rock blasting,” adding that “blasting of rocks will destroy the topography of the area.”

He added that there will be no more wildlife because their food would have been destroyed by rock explosions.  

Rock blasting, he warned, will destroy the two streams—the Pratu and Ntakorfa—and the Muni Lagoon.

Other adverse impacts of any mining activity in the Muni-Pomadzi Ramsar site, he mentioned, would include the extinction of flora and fauna in the two streams and the lagoon; hunger among those whose livelihood is dependent on the lagoon; an end to the Ramsar site and Aboakyer Festival; increased poverty within the Muni-Raamsar Pomadze site, and; increased environmental degradation within the site.

Neenyi Ghartey VII said Ghana is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention which seeks to protect the site identified as a vital wetland.

“The Muni-Pomadze Ramsar site is protected under the Wetlands Management (Ramsar) Regulations 1999, LII659. It covers most parts of the coastal Winneba, the Pratu and Ntakorfa streams and the Muni Lagoon,” he affirmed.

According to him, migratory birds come to breed and also avoid the harsh weather in Europe, adding that fishes also come from the sea to spawn during the rainfall season.

“The brackish water is obtained from the two main streams and their bounds constitute the buffer area for flood control during heavy rains; they are, therefore, reserved areas protected under the LI. 1659,” he stressed.

Ghana, he said, has five coastal wetlands—Sakumono, Keta, Densu, Songhor and Winneba.

All these, he pointed out, have serious problems.

He said Sakumono, Densu and Songhor have been compromised and, thus, called for the need to protect the one in Winneba.

“It is on record, not once or twice but on several occasions we; and here I mean the Forestry Commission and the Effutu Paramountcy, have drawn attention to the Legislative Instrument establishing this area as a protected area, its purpose and what cannot be done within it, yet we continue to receive surprises from institutions like the Lands Commission and the Minerals Commission with proposed projects falling within this protected area,” he said

Source: Classfmonline.com