Harvesting of underwater trees in Volta lake creates fear over effect on fish stock Harvesting of underwater trees in Volta lake creates fear over effect on fish stock
Fishermen in about 32 communities along the Volta lake in the Upper Manya Krobo District of the Eastern region are demanding compensation from Serengeti Company... Harvesting of underwater trees in Volta lake creates fear over effect on fish stock

Fishermen in about 32 communities along the Volta lake in the Upper Manya Krobo District of the Eastern region are demanding compensation from Serengeti Company Limited and its partners, Holdings  harvesting  underwater tree stumps in the  Volta Lake for direct loss of income before they allow the company operate at peace with them.
The angry fishermen few months ago embarked on’ demonstration claiming the activities of the company will deplete fish stock in their operational  area.
 
A stakeholders meeting held by the Eastern Regional Minister in Koforidua  to resolve the impasse nearly turned chaotic as the fishermen rejected appeal by the Minister to allow the company work in peace.
The Volta Lake  estimated to be 8,600 square-kilometre reservoir created as a result of a the construction of the  Akosombo Hydroelectric Dam in 1964,  culminated in the submergence of 
large tracts of forest.
According to research, over 14 million cubic meters of rot-resistant hardwoods such as wawa, odum and ebony trees were submerged in the lake.
Timber resources in the Volta lake was quantified at 2.8 billion dollars.
About 2% of the economic trees in the lake has been given out by Government of Ghana to Serengeti Company Limited and its partners,Deideso Holdings to harvest the underwater tree stumps in the lake which is entirety  home to ninety per cent (90%) of  Ghana’s inland fishery with about 80,000 fishermen depending on it for their livelihood therefore agitation over  fear of negative impact  through the direct loss of income.

The Eastern regional Minister,Eric Kwakye Darfuor after a visit to the project Site conveyed a stakeholders meeting  to resolve the impasse but nearly turned chaotic as the fishermen  are still not convinced that the project would not be detrimental to  fishing.
According to the Regional Minister,further consultation is needed to allay the fears of agitating fishermen that with the technology being used by the company ,fish stock will not be affected .
 Francis Kalitsi, Managing Partner and co-founder of Serengeti Company Limited, the company engaging in the underwater harvesting on the Volta Lake also stated that, most of the Chiefs and majority of fishermen approve the underwater tree harvesting project but only few of the “bamboo fishermen” are agitating .
Though Environmentalists prefer underwater harvesting to lumbering,there are also many environmental concerns that if the best method is not used aquatic life could be threatened.
Silt on the drowned logs could be distributed into the water while practice of yanking standing trees from lake beds can pollute the water with sediment, blocking the light needed by aquatic plants disturbing their habitats.