James Kofi Annan (middle), NDC parliamentary candidate for Effutu, addressing the media at the Ayensu River side
James Kofi Annan (middle), NDC parliamentary candidate for Effutu, addressing the media at the Ayensu River side

Don't grant licences for mining close to Ayensu River - NDC Effutu aspirant to Minerals Commission

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for Effutu in the Central Region, James Kofi Annan, has petitioned the Minerals Commission not to grant licences for the mining of lithium and gold close to the Ayensu River.


He said any attempt to undertake any mining activities anywhere close to the river could result in the total drying up of the river and result in life-threatening situations for surrounding communities.


In a petition, dated March 21, 2024, to the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Mr Annan said his petition was premised on a publication in the Daily Graphic of Thursday, February 29, 2024, notifying the public of intended mining of lithium and gold in Domeabra, Atekyedo and Okyereko communities, which are on the banks of River Ayensu.

"According to your good offices (Minerals Commission), the publication was done on February 6, 2024, but appeared on page 40 of the Daily Graphic on Thursday, February 29, 2024, schedule number 50, giving interested persons up to 21 days to register their interests," Mr Annan said.

He said the geographical locations of the lease sought border three districts, namely Gomoa East, Gomoa Central and Effutu, adding that the region stated was Western in the publication, which he said could be inadvertent.

"Be it as it may, my checks show that there has not been any due process of consultation of the local people in the affected Ayensu River communities, an important step in any environmental scoping project.

"As a citizen and a key stakeholder in the Effutu Municipality, and beyond, I would like to inform you that I vehemently oppose the granting of such a licence," Mr Annan said.


Giving further details to buttress his point, Mr Annan said: "The proposed communities, Domeabra, Atekyedo and Okyereko, border the Ayensu River in very close proximity."

"The proposed coverage areas, 24.36 Kilometre Square, suggest that virtually the entire banks of the Ayensu River falling within the aforementioned districts are affected," he stated.

"This Ayensu River is the main source of drinking water for the people of Effutu and our brothers and sisters from the Gomoa communities.

It is the only water from which Ghana Water Company draws its water for purification and onward distribution to communities throughout Effutu and the three Gomoa districts," he said.

The aspiring NDC Legislator for Effutu said it was common knowledge that mining, especially gold and lithium mining, required a lot of water to wash the metal.

That, he said, meant that the water needed for the mining activity was now going to compete with the water needs of the people who were currently relying on the Ayensu River.

Again, he said farmers had used the Ayensu River as a source of irrigation for their farming activities and over the years had also served as a source of fishing for a lot of people in Winneba and Gomoa. 

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