The Manhyia Palace has served notice that any person who tampers with the protective cover or breaches the bye-laws put in place to protect Lake Bosomtwe, one of six meteoritic lakes in the world, will be severely dealt with.
This follows the destruction of about 600 trees planted along the bank of the Lake at Pipie, in the Bosomtwe district of the Ashanti Region, by a private developer despite bye-laws declaring 100 meters from the water as a buffer zone.
The vegetation served as protection for the Lake, from shrinking and also being polluted by the activities of people who live along the banks of the Lake. According to UNESCO, the existence of the Lake contributes to creating the Bosomtwe Range Forest Reserve which is a combination of forest, wetland and mountain ecosystems.
These among other things contribute to making Lake Bosomtwe a very important national cultural and natural site of particular relevance for international conservation.
It is against this background that a representative of the Manhyia Palace, Nana Adu Mensah, at a meeting with chiefs from towns and communities around the Lake, said the Asantehene has been very disturbed by the recent development.
“It’s very sad for someone to allow his greed to cause this destruction. The Asantehene is keenly following the development. He is fully aware of the situation and is taking measures to prevent future occurrence. The communities along the Lake should stand up and protect the Lake from being destroyed,” he said.
The Coordinator of the Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration Programme, Mr. Fred Kyei particularly noted that the private developer will be made to replant all the trees destroyed.
“Our rules of engagement are that if you cut one of the trees planted under the auspices of the Manhyia Palace, you have to replace it with 100. The private developer is expected to plant about 59,800 trees and manage them within a period of five years before handing over to the fringe communities. We don’t set rules and just leave it like that, there will be enforcement.”
According to some sources close to the case, a caretaker chief of a town around the Lake sold that portion of the land which was destroyed by the developer.
It was the worrying development which compelled the Manhyia Palace to summon all the chiefs in the area to caution and educate them on the need to even plant more trees to protect the Lake.
The chiefs from the area after the meeting pledged to deepen their resolve to protect the natural reserve. Obo Abontendonhene, Nana Gyamfi Poku said, “We pledge to protect the Lake. We will ensure that we abide by the bye-laws.”
Ahantasehene, Nana Yaw Agyei stated that he has personally planted trees in his community to protect the Lake while noting that the directive from the “Manhyia Palace to compel each of us to protect the Lake” was welcoming.
The Manhyia Palace intends to plant around 3 million trees around the Lake and 100 million in the entire Ashanti Region by 2029.
The Programmes Manager of A Rocha Ghana, Mr. Prosper Baffour Antwi-Boasiako, after the stakeholder engagement expressed satisfaction with the decision reached to ensure that the trees are replanted.
He also noted that as a conservation group, they will follow keenly and provide technical direction when need be, to ensure that whatever were destroyed is replanted and maintained to the level deemed fit.
Mr. Antwi-Boasiako particularly expressed gratitude to the level of commitment shown by the Manhyia Palace dealing with such environmental issues.