Ex-President Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings has called for the protection of the Keta Lagoon from harmful human activities.

He mentioned activities such as disposing of garbage into thelagoon, using dangerous chemicals for fishing and over fishing as very harmful.

Flt. Lt. Rawlings was addressing the 2010 Tagbaza (Lagoon Festival) organized by the chiefs and people of Anlo Afiadenyigba in the Keta Municipal Area.

He said if those activities continued, the ability of the Lagoon to sustain the people in the area economically would reduce considerably.

The festival was instituted to venerate the Keta Lagoon as the main provider of economic livelihood of the people of Anlo-Afiadenyigba.

The festival with the theme; “Changing Lives Through Education,” was also used to launch the Anlo-Afiadenyigba Educational Endowment Fund.

The ex-President, talking about the Lagoon as the economic livewire of the people, said; “I am told the Lagoon does not allow anyone to be poor unless that individual chooses to be poor”.

Flight Lieutenant Rawlings however said it was important that the Lagoon’s ability to sustain fishing and salt production was protected.

He observed that many of Ghana’s water resources had been destroyed by negative human activities and asked the people in the Keta Basin to use the festival to create awareness to protect the Lagoon.

Flt. Lt. Rawlings lauded the people for the launch of the education fund and asked for its prudent management to enhance the development of the area.

He expressed worry about the disregard for education in the rural areas where the process is considered a preserve of the rich.

The ex-President also commended the people for exhibiting true Ghanaian culture at the festival, saying these cultural significances should be guiding light mainly for politicians.

He observed that many politicians had forgotten their roots and only show up at these occasions for “political expediency rather than a true desire to bond with their people”.

The ex-President said many politicians had therefore become hollow, arrogant and detached from the true problems engulfing their people.

Lt. Colonel Cyril Necku (Rtd) Deputy Volta Regional Minister said government was weighing the advantages and disadvantages of dredging the Keta Lagoon following several appeals.

He said raising water levels of the Lagoon could destroy the salt industry in the area.

Mr. Sylvester Tornyeava, Keta Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), said the tarring of the Havedzi-Metrikasa road, linking Anlo-Afiadenyigba to Keta and the Aflao Trunk road would be implemented.

He announced a five-million Ghana cedis five-year Keta Development Plan, with priorities for agriculture and educational enhancement designed to quicken the areas’ development.

Togbe Kadzahlo Dufia of Afiadenyigba appealed for investment into the production and marketing of salt in the area.

Source: GNA