Review agreement on tree stump removal from Volta lake — Fishermen
A number of fishermen along the Volta Lake have appealed to the government to review its agreement with Clark Sustainable Resource Development Ltd, a Canadian company, to remove tree stumps from the lake.
They contended that the removal of the tree stumps, which is to ensure smooth navigation, had been turned into a commercial venture to remove every tree stump from the lake.
The fishermen made the appeal at a meeting with the executive of the National Inland Canoe Fishermen Council (NICFC) at Adawso in the Kwahu South District in the Eastern Region.
They said the tree stumps did not only serve as breeding, nursery and feeding grounds for fish in the lake but also prevented trawling and dragging of fish nets, as well as protect the fauna in the lake against predators.
Efforts made by the Chairman of the NICFC, Dumega Vincent Kaledzi, to impress on the fishermen to agree to the agreement proved futile, as they doubted the sincerity of the government to honour its side of the bargain.
Responding to the concerns of the fishermen, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mr Nayon Bilijo, said the government would organise a roundtable discussion with the parties involved to find ways of addressing the issue.
In April 2012, the fishermen wrote to the Minister of Transport to express their concern over the removal of tree stumps from the Volta Lake.
The aggrieved fishermen said the harvesting activities of Clark Sustainable Resource Development would lead to the possible extinction of many species of fish in the lake, a situation which would not augur well for the fishing industry.
In their letter, the fishermen submitted that ‘the tree stumps curtail over-fishing and prevent complete destruction of fishery resource’.
In its response, the Ministry of Transport said there was a contractual agreement between the government and Clark Sustainable Resources Development on April 27, 2010 for the harvesting, processing and marketing of timber from the Volta Lake.
By Timothy Gobah/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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