Three municipal and district chief executives along the Volta Lake in the Eastern Region have collectively endorsed the Volta Lake timber salvation project as very crucial and of economic importance to the communities, the region and the state.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Lower Manya, Mr Simon Kwaku Tetteh, the District Chief Executive for Asuogyaman, Mr Samuel Kwame Agyekum, and the District Chief Executive for Upper Manya Mr Felix Nartey Odjao, made the observation after a visit to the operations centre of Dedeso Holding Incorporated, the company which is undertaking the project at Sedom-Yiti in the Asuogyaman District in the Eastern region.
The visit to the DHI by the three chief executives was necessitated by a recent agitation by a group of bamboo fishermen in the Manya Krobo District that the salvaging of the stumps in the Volta Lake was inimical to their fishing practice, an allegation vehemently denied by the company.
The visiting delegation included Mr Samuel Akor, the Coordinator of the National Disaster and Management Organisation Coordinator for the area and other officials from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Forestry Commission.
The three state officials said they were convinced at the end of their tour that the benefits of Kete Krachi Timber Recovery Limited, which is the local entity and subsidiary of Dedeso Holdings, undertaking the timber salvage project were greater than any other considerations earlier imagined.
The chief executives pledged to collaborate with Dedeso Holdings to educate and sensitise some of the fishering communities along the Volta Lake to allay their fears about their unfortunate impression that the company’s activities were inimical to fishing.
The Asuogyaman DCE, Mr Agyekum said salvaging timber from the Volta Lake was in line with the national development agenda as it provided employment for the rural population, as well as enabling the lake to be used as means of transport, aquaculture and recreation.
For his part, Mr Tetteh, the MCE for Lower Manya, said the good thing about the project was its ability to earn foreign exchange for the country, which could go a long way to improve the balance of payment of Ghana as a developing country.
Mr Odjao, the Upper Manya District Chief Executive, said that he would submit the findings and observations of the three chief executives on activities of Dedeso to the Eastern Regional Minister for his attention and action.
Conducting the three chief executives round the various operations and facilities at the project site, Mr Elkin Pianim, Chief Executive and Mr Ali Marnah, Operations Manager of Dedeso Holdings, said the company had the right and modern technology, including sonar and cutting equipment, together with the expertise, to successfully salvage the timber without any environmental damage.
Mr Pianim said the company was also clearing and mapping navigation channels to enable the Volta Lake to become part of the transportation infrastructure to bridge the northern and southern sectors of the country for rapid socio-economic and cultural growth and unity.
He said the firm could produce Ghana’s requirement of 240,000 cubic tonnes of timber a year ‘without cutting a single living tree’.