American actor, producer, and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio has called for the protection of the Atewa Forest as Ghana prepares to start mining bauxite in the forest as part of the Sinohydro agreement with China.
The Sinohydro deal is ‘barter agreement’ which will see Ghana exchange its bauxite reserves in the Atewa Forest for two billion dollars ($2bn) from China for developmental projects. Agreed in 2018, the first tranche of the two billion dollars ($2bn) from China has arrived in Ghana suggesting that mining will be commencing anytime soon. However, DiCaprio believes mining in the forest would put the millions of people and hundreds of “wildlife species” who depend on it “at risk of extinction.”
Sharing a story from the Washington Post on the Sinohydro deal, the Oscar-winning actor indicated that the world must prioritise the protection of such places for a healthy planet. “Ghana’s #Atewa Forest Reserve provides drinking water to 5 million+ people & harbors 100+ wildlife species at risk of extinction. We must prioritize the protection of these irreplaceable places for a healthy planet,” he said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Ghana’s #Atewa Forest Reserve provides drinking water to 5 million+ people & harbors 100+ wildlife species at risk of extinction. We must prioritize the protection of these irreplaceable places for a healthy planet. https://t.co/59fFVgJ0JZ @arochaghana #SaveAtewaForestNow
— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) November 12, 2019
It must be noted that there have been agitations from a number of groups in the country for the Sinohydro deal to be critically looked at since the mining in the Atewa Forest has the potential of destroying the water sources for about five million people. In other news, another American actor and TV personality Steve Harvey has named 3FM drive time host, Giovani Caleb, as his favourite radio personality in Ghana. According to Harvey who is currently in the country to promote the Family Feud Ghana show, Giovani was innovative and original in the content he produces.
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