Catholic Bishop of Jasikan, Most Rev. Gabriel A.A. Mante has protested the planned mining of iron ore at the Bowiri and Akpafu range in the Oti Region.
In a statement, the Jasikan Catholic Bishop said there is no guarantee that mining in the region will contribute positively to the economy of the local people.
This, he explained is because “the repercussions, environmental destruction, health implication and the worsening of the indigenous economy will far outweigh the benefits that could be derived from the mining of the mineral resources.”
This comes in the wake of the revelation by Oti Regional Minister, Joshua G. Makuba in a press briefing that iron ore has been discovered in the Region, and that the discovery of the resource will transform the country’s economy.
Also, the Board Chairman of the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), Farouk Aliu Mahama said Ghana is set to start mining iron ore by the end of 2023.
Speaking to JoyNews, the Yendi legislator said 10 companies are currently working to determine the total iron deposits in the country.
“Government cannot invest in this alone. The cost of doing MRA is very expensive and we’ve been able to do a block. And it takes a lot of investment. So through the direction of government, we’ve decided to do a private sector participation,” he said.
However, Most Rev. Gabriel A.A. Mante has called on the traditional leaders, both in the Oti and Volta regions to take a determined and uncompromising stance against the mining of the mineral resources in the regions.
“We would like to remind them that their greatest responsibility from God and our ancestors is to protect the lives God has entrusted to them to lead,” he added.
The Jasikan Catholic Bishop also urged government officials within these two regions to re-examine, whatever agreement they must have reached with companies which have been invited or contracted to mine these resources namely: the iron ore, the gold and the lithium.
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