The youth of Effutu have been advised to channel their energies into activities that would protect and preserve the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site and Yenku Forest, which have come under severe threat in the recent past.
This way, the significant role of the youth in protecting the two cultural heritage sites, which have become an embodiment of the people of Effutu, would be realised.
Youth activist, Nana Ato Takyi Otabil, who gave the advice, appealed to the youth to develop strong interest in mounting thousands of pillars that have been procured by their Member of Parliament, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, along the boundaries of the sites.
Following the growing concerns over the revered sites, the Member of Parliament for the Effutu Constituency, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has supported the Game and Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission with an amount of GH¢30,000.00
The money was meant for the Division to buy pillars and mount them on the sites to indicate the willingness of the people not to sacrifice their heritage.
Calling on the youth to support the MP’s vision, Nana Otabil indicated at a press conference that the “youth of Effutu have found it very crucial and most important to address some issues that concern our social and cultural well-being as people of Effutu”.
The youth, he said, resonated with calls for communal support in mounting the pillars on the boundaries of the Ramsar Site and the Forest Reserve to preserve their heritage.
“We have come to the firm conclusion that our energies as youth of Effutu would be more useful by a collective effort of all in mounting these pillars that would protect the area against encroachers,” he stated
He added that: “We further think a street demonstration and protest would no longer be necessary due to the super imposing onus on us, the youth of Effutu, to mount these pillars. We are by this press conference telling all youth of Effutu to ignore the calls from any group of people who are promoting and advertising for the planned demonstration”, he explained.
In recent times, the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site and Yenku Forest in Winneba, have been in the news, following information that the heritage sites have been leased to a company for mineral prospecting.
A Local company, Green Metal Resources, which deals in mineral exploration is said to have received the greenlight from the Minerals Commission to venture into the heritage sites
However, the chiefs and people of Effutu have vehemently protested against this decision by the Forestry and the Minerals Commissions and warned the company to stay off or incur their wrath.
Neenyi Ghartey VII addresses the press
As part of their fierce protestations, the Paramount chief of the Effutu Traditional Area, Neenyi Ghartey VII, held a press conference and outlined the historical and cultural importance of the sites to the very existence of the people.
Neenyi Ghartey explained that any form of mining exploration in the Ramsar site would lead to the extinction of the flora and fauna in the two streams, as well as the lagoon.
According to him, Winneba is one of Ghana’s five coastal wetlands, which include Sakumo, Keta, Densu and Songhor, but already the safety of Sakumono, Densu and Songhor have all been compromised.
Lamenting further, he stated that “We attach much interest in the area because of its historical, cultural, environmental and economic ties for us”.
He categorically stated that “We do not want to arrive at the same state as Accra and other flood-prone communities in the country and we the people of Effutuman are saying ‘NO’ to mining operations or activities in the Muni Pomadze Ramsar site.
“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”, he emphasised.
The instrument, he stated, specified “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”.