The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold Public Hearing beginning Monday, June 4 to Friday, 8th June, 2018 in four municipal and district assemblies in the Keta Delta Block.
The 5-day Public Hearing which is in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Regulations 1991, LI 1652 (Regulation 17) will elicit concerns and expectations from citizens of Ketu South, Keta, South Tongu, all in the Volta Region, and Ada East District Assembly in the Greater Accra Region on the proposed onshore oil exploration.
The Hearing will be held at the respective district assembly halls except for Ada East (at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, Ada-Foah) from 9:00am each day. A final session will be organised for civil society organisations, media, society groups, NGOs and the general public at Keta ICT Centre.
The basin stretching five constituencies 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 in large deposit in the area.
But even before the company commences exploration, there had been concerns from a section of the Ghanaian public warning that such a venture could endanger the environment and lives of the inhabitants as the exploration would be done on land unlike the offshore.
Recently, a group, Keta Municipal Vegetable Farmers and Marketers Association took to the streets of Anloga in the Municipality to oppose the use of the 3,000-square- kilometer-basin for the planned onshore exploration activities which they feared would be unfavourable to them.
With inscriptions such as ‘Keta Basin was designed by God for Shrimp farming,’ ‘Oil Exploration will destroy our fragile ecosystem,’ No Niger Delta Militancy in Anloland,’ among others, they sought to relate the yet-to-happen Keta Delta to Nigeria’s Niger Delta situation where crude oil exploration and drilling activities by Shell company adversely affected the inhabitants.
Meanwhile, PenPlusBytes, an NGO that has done extensive media training in oil and gas in collaboration with voltaonlinegh.com will provide digital coverage of the hearing. The general public are encouraged to follow Facebook and twitter handles @penplusbytes @oilgasghana @voltaonlinegh with the hashtag, #ketaoil to contribute to the discussions.
By: Ewoenam Kpodo/voltaonlinegh.com