Tomorrow at 6:30 GMT, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum and Jacqueline Kumadoh of A Rocha Ghana will be featured live on Ghana’s TV3 New Day about the need to protect the Atewa Forest from mining. Gilbert and Jacqueline are representing the Coalition of NGOs Against Mining in Atewa (CONAMA). The TV programme is part of a series of pressure channels the CONAMA members are utilizing to get government to rescind its decision to allow mining in the Atewa Forest.
Among other issues, tomorrow the CONAMA representatives (Gilbert and Jacqueline) will highlight the importance of Atewa Forest for the preservation of the headwaters of the Densu, Ayensu and Birim rivers that supply water to more than one fifth of Ghana’s population. Unfortunately, Ghana’s water bodies have become recent targets for mining activities leading to their pollution with cyanide and mercury. Alarmingly, Ghana does not treat its drinking water for toxic trace chemicals like cyanide and mercury. Adding such problems to government’s inability to end recurrent water crisis will be detrimental to the health of Ghanaians especially as it has been predicted that by 2035, half of Ghana’s population (about 18 million people) will be living in conditions of severe water stress.
The Atewa Forest is Ghana’s most biodiverse wilderness and home to the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi) which is also the closest relative of the world’s largest frog Goliath frog (Conraua goliath). This breakfast show programme will also be used as an opportunity to announce to the public about the upcoming International Conference on Atewa from 18th and 19th November 2013 at the Coconut Grove Hotel, Accra. It is dubbed “Atewa Forest, a Heritage and Future at a Crossroad.” In collaboration with international conservation groups such as IUCN, A Rocha International and SAVE THE FROGS! USA, this conference will produce resolutions and proceedings to ensure the Atewa Forest is converted to Atewa Hills National Park. The conference is open to all interested groups and individuals from both Ghana and overseas.
The Atewa Forest, being a jewel in the crown of Ghana’s forest is being closely monitored by CONAMA which is made up of nine (9) local NGOs (SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, A Rocha Ghana, FOREST WATCH GHANA, WACAM, CEIA (Centre for Environmental Impact Analysis) – IWWA, Conservation Alliance, HERP Ghana and Rainforest Friends Ghana, RAFFS/G) to prevent this gem from being lost to short term gains.
Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi is the SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Campaigns Coordinator.