Yenku Forest Not Leased For Mining

-Minerals Commission Allays Fear, CEO To Meet Chiefs

By Gifty Arthur

The Minerals Commission has allayed the fears of the chiefs and people of the Effutu Traditional Area in the Central Region, following reports that the Yenku Forest has been leased for the mining of lithium.

Contrary to the claim, the commission insists that, per their records, no such action has been taken by authorities.

Speaking on a segment on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme dubbed, ‘Time With Minerals Commission,’ the chief executive officer (CEO), Martin Kwaku Ayisi, said the claim is not new.

According to him, “Nothing is happening at Yenku Forest, we’ve never granted any right in the Yenku Forest, so I will put up a statement. I will arrange and meet the Effutu Traditional Council and the Municipality for us to discuss that.”

He mentioned that, not long ago, he had cause to dispute the same allegation about the same Yenku Forest, when the paramount chief of the Effutu Traditional Area, Neeyi Ghartey VI, first levelled the allegation.

“This issue of Yenku Forest has come up again, was it last year or two years ago where Nenyi Ghartey got up and said…and I said look, nothing like that will happen in the Yenku Forest,” he told Dr. Randy Abbey, the programme host.

Yenku Forest is famous for the hunting of deer for the popular Aboakyer festival of the people of Winneba, also known as Simpa.

“That place, I understand that’s where they go for their deer for the Aboakyire festival, that beautiful festival. It’s not been granted for any mining,” he stressed.


He assured of plans to issue a formal statement to this effect to clear any doubt.

Mr. Ayisi also indicated plans to travel to Winneba to sit with the chiefs and the people to talk things out to calm tempers.

“We have the record, so at the appropriate time I will meet him…I am going to book an appointment and meet him and his elders, because it is our duty to do that,” he added.

The reaction by the CEO follows a recent press conference held by the chiefs and people of Effutu and Gomoa Akyempim, to express grave concern about reports that the forest was up for sale.

Their concern followed a similar reportage this November of the famed Kakum National Park, which was reportedly targeted by a private company, High Street Limited, to mine 24%, but was also flatly refused by the Minerals Commission.

They asked the government to rescind that decision because they were not going to allow it to take effect.

The aggrieved chiefs and their subjects, led by Neeyi Ghartey VI, vowed they will resist the plan with all their strength and might.

He said they have also seen publication in the print media and other social media platforms, warning occupants of some parts of the Winneba Forest to vacate the land within 21 days before their houses and other properties are demolished for the mining activities.

Neeyi Ghartey warned the Minerals Commission not to make any attempt to touch the forest, which has been there since he was born, adding that nothing will make them allow the government and the commission to mine in the forest.

Meanwhile, the youth of the area say they are prepared to lay down their lives to protect the forest, noting that mining activities will destroy their land and the Cultural Heritage of Winneba.

They urged the government and the Mineral Commission to come clear on the allegation on whether the forest has been sold or not.

A similar presser was also held by representatives of the two Asafo groups, youth, Adzebaafo, fishermen and fishmongers, traditional priests, family heads and other interested parties in the Winneba enclave. Their call was simply that they want the permit, which will allow for the forest to be mined, withdrawn.

Present at that press conference was a delegation from the Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Council represented by Obrempong Nyanful Kampah XI, the paramount chief of Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area.

Neeyi Kojo Sei II, the spokesperson of the people of Effutu, stated that they will not allow for the said mining to happen to destroy the forest reserve, farmlands, the Muni lagoon, as well as other water bodies in and around Winneba.

They alleged a mining firm, Green Metal Resources, has been given permit to mine in the area, which they are vehemently opposed to.

“We will not allow mining whatsoever to commence in the area to endanger the environment, destroy the topography of the area and drive wildlife away, destroying the source of livelihood for a number of people in Gomoa Akyempim and Effutu Traditional Area who were dependent on the Lagoon resources,” they said.

They added, “We have a historical linkage to the Ramsar site which defines their identity and with regard we condemn and reject the said move by the government that permit issued to that effect must be revoked forthwith.”

Related Posts