Preparations are underway for the official launch of the Ghana chapter of the Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA).
The group, as part of activities earmarked for the institution of the movement, launched this year’s season of creation in Accra with a call on Catholics in particular to pay attention to the health of the environment in the West African country.
Country Representative of the group, Francisca Ziniel told Vatican News Africa that Founder and Executive Director of CYNESA, Allen Ottaro is expected in Ghana on September 28.
“We are ready for the launch on September 30. Allen Ottaro our founder will arrive in Ghana on September 28. All other things being equal,” She said.
CYNESA’s roots can be traced back to the inspirational message delivered by St. Pope John Paul II in 1990, where he emphasized the urgency of elevating ecological awareness and translating it into tangible programs and initiatives. Responding to this call, young Catholics from various African nations, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, and South Africa, among others, united to establish the Africa-wide Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) in January 2012.
Ghana’s fight against illegal mining, destruction of ecology
The launch of the influential movement dedicated to championing environmental sustainability across the African continent in Ghana is coming at a time when the West African country is battling the menace of illegal mining (Galamsey) reported to be causing havoc to the ecology of the country.
Gold has been one of the core sources of foreign exchange for Ghana for a very long time, especially after independence when Ghanaians took over the political administration of the country. However available data suggests that Ghana as a country and its citizens are not the main beneficiaries of the gold that is mined from the country.
Speaking at the 2023 Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, Ghana’s President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo noted that measures such as the ban on galamsey, which has been destroying water bodies and forest reserves, have helped to reduce the country’s carbon emissions building the country’s resilience to the impact of climate change.
But Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications and a strong Catholic voice against galamsey, Dr. Ken Ashigbey argues that President Akufo-Addo’s claims are not based on facts.
According to him, the effects of galamsey are evident in the rising water tariffs, the number of stillbirths, and child deformities in mining areas due to the pollution of water bodies.
“We have heard that the Bui Dam is under threat from galamsey. We recently saw the Minister for Roads and Highways cause the arrest of some excavators that were going into the forest. He said that these are people who are not patriotic citizens. We also had the situation where the president had to dismiss the Bosome Freho MCE for confessing to an illegality,” Dr. Ashigbey is reported to have said.