His Royal Highness, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, has swiftly instituted measures to protect and prevent any activity that has the potential of causing damage to the lake Bosomtwe Biosphere Reserve.
As part of the activities, the Asantehene working through the Landscape Project Coordinator, Mr. Fred Kyei Oheneba Poku and the District Executive Officer at Bosomtwe, has summoned all Chiefs and care-taker Chiefs in the locality to educate them on the Local Government Bye-laws on lakes, rivers, streams and other water bodies.
The Amakomhene, Nana Adu Mensah Asare, Chairman of the Committee for the Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration programme reiterated the wrath of His Royal Highness- Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II on any subject that would go against sustainable environmental actions.
The action taken by the Asantehene has become necessary following the recent acquisition of a parcel of land at Pipie near the Lake, from a care-taker Chief that led to trespassing into the Core Zone (no use area of 100 meters) thereby destroying an Orchard and trees developed by A Rocha Ghana and also cutting down about 594 trees planted by the Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration Programme.
The private developer, Mr. Baffour Senkyire Amoako has however not been spared for encroaching on the biosphere reserve and has been asked to halt all activities within the 100 meters core zone.
Also, through the supervision of A Rocha Ghana, CREMA Executive, and Water Resources Commission (Pra Basin), the private developer has been tasked to replant a total of 6000 trees to replace the destroyed 594 and maintained all replanted trees at the site for a period of 3 years and facilitate planting of others in surrounding communities.
Protecting Lake Bosomtwe
Lake Bosumtwe is the only natural lake in Ghana and the largest in West Africa. In 2012, environmental NGO, A Rocha Ghana and partner organizations, Man and Biosphere Ghana, Water Research Institute of Ghana, Friends of the Earth, Forest Research institute of Ghana, Water Resources Commission and the EPA etc., through the funding support of UNESCO (Spanish Government funding) under the auspices of Manhyia (Ashanti Kingdom), implemented the Sustainable Management of Lake Bosomtwe Project.
Gains from the project led to the designation of Lake Bosomtwe as a Biosphere Reserve. Subsequently, A Rocha Ghana, Man and Biosphere Ghana, Community Resources Management Area (CREMA) Executive Committee, Water Resources Commission and the Ashanti Kingdom Landscape Restoration programme have been planting indigenous trees along designated core zones (100 meters of no use area of the entire peripheral of the Lake) for long term persistence of the Lake and catchment resources.
A Rocha’s delight about Asantehene’s swift intervention
Environmental NGO and key stakeholder to the sustainability of the Lake, A Rocha Ghana, says, it is elated to see a true demonstration of leadership by traditional authority on environmental issue.
“It is also worth mentioning that, where there is true leadership for the good of all, there is always a way. A Rocha Ghana hereby salutes all actors in the Lake Bosomtwe case which is now a test case for other landscapes. Ayekoo to His Royal Highness Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, all other Chiefs and Mr. Joseph Akwasi Assuming (District Chief Executive-Bosomtwe) for the unique commitment to environmental sustainability. If the environment wins- the people win; for we are all alive because of the various ecosystem goods and services”, statement from the NGO added.