The court case against the government of Ghana for its plans to turn Atewa Range Forest Reserve, a critical watershed providing water for over 5 million Ghanaians, into a bauxite mine pit has been adjourned to the 18th of April 2023.
The case was filed at the High Court of General Jurisdiction in Ghana in 2020, by seven NGOs and their networks numbering over 90 individual NGOs and four (4) private citizens who sued the Government of Ghana over the intended plan.
Leading the plaintiff side is A Rocha Ghana, a Ghanaian non-profit, non-governmental environmental sustainability organisation established and active in Ghana for more than 20 years. The other six CSOs standing as plaintiffs are: FLOWER Ghana, Concern Citizens of Atewa Landscape (CCAL), Ghana Youth Environment Movement, Ecocare Ghana, Kasa Initiative Ghana and Save the Frogs Ghana. The private citizens are: Awula Serwah, Oteng Adjei, Boakye Twumasi- Ankrah and Nana Asante.
The trial so far
Prior to the case adjournment, the court held four sessions where the State Attorney continued their cross-examination of the plaintiff witnesses.
So far, the Attorney General (AG) through its cross examination of the three other witnesses of the plaintiff, has been trying to establish the claim that the Atewa forest in its current state did not have any meaningful economic value to the state and rather, the State is trying to make it economically useful with the bauxite mining plan.
The cross examination by the AG has also sought to test the knowledge of plaintiff witnesses on the process of bauxite mining and whether or not that would in any way damage the Atewa forest as was being claimed by the statement of claim.
During the last cross examination prior to the adjournment, the AG tried to discredit the community witness of claims that the fauna and flora of the Atewa Forest will be destroyed as a result of the bauxite mining activities in the forest.
Court proceedings are expected to resume on the 18th of April 2023 at 10:30am at the High Court (General Jurisdiction 10) in the Law Court Complex in Accra, Ghana.
Find further readings on media coverage of the court proceedings here: