Members of the Keta Municipal Vegetable Farmers and Marketers Association on Thursday took to the streets of Anloga in a massive demonstration against a planned exploration of crude oil in the Keta basin of the Volta region.
The group is opposing the use of the 3,000 square kilometres basin, for onshore exploration activities, which they dread would destroy the environment and adversely impact their livelihoods.
The basin stretching five administrative districts in the southern Volta was awarded to an oil firm, Swiss African Oil Company in 2016, to carry out onshore exploration for the hydrocarbon, which is believed to be large deposit in the area.
But even before the company commences actual work in the area, the group is raising red flag about the project.
Clad in red attire and armbands, the protestors marched briskly with placards to the Keta Municipal Assembly where they presented a petition to the President through the Municipal Chief Executive, demanding an abrogation of the said contract.
Inscriptions on some of the placards read, ‘Keta Basin was designed by God for Shrimp farming,’ ‘oil Exploration will destroy our fragile ecosystem,’ No Niger Delta Militancy in Anloland,’ among others.
The aggrieved residents posited that, giving out the ‘fragile’ basin for crude oil extraction, will for instance, destroy the Keta lagoon on which many people depend on for their livelihoods, as fishing, salt mining and irrigation farming, in addition to the pollution underground water sources.
They are therefore urging government to focus on a sustainable alternative use of the basin for agriculture and ecotourism purposes instead of endangering the lives of 600,000 inhabitants within the basin with the exploration.