Former Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini says the forest reserves were not infiltrated by mining activities under his watch as the Minister for the Lands and Natural Resources.
According to the former Tamale Central lawmaker, it does not make sense to give permits to people to prospect in the forest reserves when those catchment areas are supposed to be protected from exploitation.
"There was no mining activities in the forest reserves under my watch as the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources. What does it mean to ask people to prospect in areas designated as reserves? How will the trees survive if the people dig holes in the forest reserves? It does not make sense," he noted.
Speaking on Okay FM's 'Ade Akye Abia' Morning Show, Alhaji Fuseini indicated that it is not for nothing that some of the forests are reserved; thus, the trees in those reserved forest will not survive if people are allowed to dig for mineral resources.
He recounted that he opposed when he was at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources the idea brought to his attention by some people to mine the bauxite at the Atiwa forest reserve.
He said that his opposition to that idea was based on the fact that the Atiwa forest reserve is a catchment area for three water bodies serving the entire country and so, giving permits to people to mine the bauxite will destroy the three water bodies.
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini mentioned that the Atiwa forest reserve is protecting all Ghanaians by removing toxic substance from the air; fuming that giving license to the Chinese to mine the bauxite in exchange for roads construction is not the best decision to make.
"The Chinese can do roads which will last for only 10 years but the vegetation has taken billions of years to be where they are. So, forest reserves are protected areas and there should be no way for anybody to give permit to some people to mine or prospect the forest reserves," he mentioned.
Source: Daniel Adu Darko/Peacefmonline.com
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