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Residents walk from E/R to petition Akufo-Addo over moves to mine bauxite at Atewa

Hundreds of residents within the Atewa landscape in the Eastern Region on Saturday began a six-day walk from the Eastern Region to Accra to protest government’s decision to mine Bauxite in the Atewa Forest Reserve.

The 95-kilometre journey will be used to highlight the significance of the reserve and why mining there will be injurious to the survival of millions of Ghanaians.

Operating under the banner Concerned Citizens of the Atewa Landscape, the group will end the protest march at the Flagstaff House in Accra where a petition will be presented to the presidency.

The march, which started from Sagyimase took the protestors to Kyebi, where a petition was presented to the East Akim Municipal Assembly.

A copy was also presented to the Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin at his palace. It was received on his behalf by the Gyasehene.

The group at the Okyenhene’s palace

The protesters who carried water polluted with chemicals from destructive mining activities, called on government to reconsider its decision to mine bauxite in the Atewa Forest or face their wrath.

A member of the group and deputy director of environmental NGO Arocha Ghana Daryl Bosu reiterated their resolve to ensure the forest reserve is preserved and not destroyed at the expense of the country’s quest to mine bauxite.

Government is tightlipped on whether it has decided to mine bauxite in the reserve “within the range” as leverage for a $15billion joint venture deal with China to develop an integrated aluminum industry.

The Atewa Range Forest Reserve which is about 23,663 hectares, is part of an ecosystem known as the Upper Guinea Forest. It spans across the Akyem Abuakwa area and is one of  two such forests left in Ghana.

It serves as ecosystem and biodiversity and it also provides headwaters for three major river systems, the Ayensu, Densu and Birim rivers.

Five million Ghanaians depend on the three rivers that take their source from the Reserve.

By Alfred Ocansey|TV3|3news.com|Ghana

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