By Gifty Arthur
The Obosomasie Forest, close to the popular Dodowa Forest in the Greater Accra Region, is under siege by Chinese nationals in partnership with their Ghanaian counterparts, degrading and destroying the beautiful forest in the name of stone quarrying.
Residents and property owners in and around the area, are at their wits end, but they have no one to complain to or call to their aid.
It is unclear whether the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Forestry Commission and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) with regulatory responsibilities over such matters, are aware of the situation.
The Herald’s findings have revealed that, a Chinese company, Day Shine Quarry, is behind this activity, and had employed about ten Chinese nationals in their job.
It also engages some twenty Ghanaians, who are always in the forest working as late as 10pm, wreaking havoc on the people, plants and endangered species in the forest.
Property owners and residents lament, heavy machines used in the quarry activities keep shaking their houses and the noise emanating from their work, make their stay in that area very discomforting.
Due to the unfriendly nature of the activities of the quarry company, monkeys and other animals, who hitherto lived in the forest, have begun vacating the forest to an unknown location.
Most of the nation’s forests, have been depleted through the activities of some of these companies.
Though the company works every day, blasting the quarry for stones using dynamite is done once every week and this is the part residents dread most, because it makes deafening noises and shakes their properties with intensity. “The sound is very scary”, one concerned property owner said.
This paper gathered that, Day Shine Quarry was led by one Alhaji to secure the said land, which belongs to the people of Obosomasie.
Residents say, they are unable to approach Day Shine Quarry, because they are protected by dreaded land guards, who are often armed to the teeth, over the two or so years that they have operated as a quarry firm.
The forest, according to concerned home owners, are being degraded at a very fast rate, warning if authorities do not move in to regulate the company’s activities, it will be disastrous in few years.
Pictures and videos of the forest, show vast portions of the greenery reduced to a very deplorable state, taking away the rare trees, including medicinal ones.
A resident, who spoke to this reporter confirmed the activities of the company, saying his initial thoughts were that the unbearable sound was coming from the Military, who may probably be testing their weapons, but enquiries reveal, Day Shine Quarry was behind the destruction, and he became aware of the danger their business pose to the ecology of the area.
“Very true! I live at Kpong Bawaleshie, I don’t mostly stay at home, but my wife always talk to me about this development. Initially, I thought maybe it was the Military, who have been testing their weapons, but last week Saturday, I had to notice it myself. It was so disturbing, because it shocked me seriously and my building as well.
It is terrible! Please, the authorities in charge should do something about it or else it is going to be something if care is not taken because, it is going to damage most of the buildings around”, the resident observed.
Another resident also had this to say “The Chinese and others use dynamite, blasting craters in search of gold. All villages, including small children are covered in mud carrying dirt out of the mines, and instead of going to school, they work for peanuts and this has been going on for many years. I agree we have to save the forest, but who saves the children”, he questioned.