Tema, GNA – Corporate Social Responsibility Movement, a Tema-based non-governmental organization NGO, has filed a suit at the Human Rights Division of the High Court in Accra, against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The NGO, which promotes human rights and public interest, prayed the court for an order of mandamus to compel the EPA to take action against two Tema-based companies, the Pioneer Food Cannery (PFG) and the Global Haulage Company (GHC).
Mr Richster Nii Amarfio, a civil society activist and fisherman in Tema, who works along the coastline and in other water bodies in Tema and Accra, including the Chemu Lagoon, filed the suit on behalf of the NGO, on Thursday, December 15, 2011.
These are contained in a statement of claim made available to the Ghana News Agency in Tema on Friday.
The NGO and Mr Amarfio, according to the claim, are seeking a declaration that the PFC’s action of constructing a processing plant, which would channel hazardous or potentially dangerous waste into the Chemu Lagoon, constituted a violation of the right of the people living around the Chemu Lagoon.
The plaintiffs are seeking a further declaration that the GHC, by taking steps to reclaim the Chemu Lagoon, has violated the right to livelihood of the surrounding communities.
They are seeking a pronouncement that GHC’s reclamation project with respect to the Chemu Lagoon constitutes an act likely to violate the right to life of the people in surrounding communities, and the public at large.
The plaintiffs are praying the court for an order enjoining the GHC to remove all materials it has dumped into the Lagoon, for the purposes of its reclamation project, and to clean up the lagoon under the supervision of the EPA and the Tema Metropolitan Assembly, which has been joined in the suit as the fourth defendant.
The plaintiffs averred that the dumping of hazardous waste and other waste materials by the PFC into the Chemu Lagoon, would have deleterious effect on aqua and fauna life in the Lagoon in particular, and eventually on the very existence of the lagoon as a whole.
They further noted that the dumping of hazardous fish waste by the PFC into the Chemu Lagoon would consequently bring the livelihood and eventually the very lives of members in the surrounding communities, including their fishing activities, to an undesirable end.
The plaintiffs also said a reclamation exercise being conducted by the GHC on the Chemu Lagoon, would result in extensive flooding and the eventual dislocation of settlements around the lagoon.
They said that the activities of the PFC and the GHC would constitute potential threat or danger to the environment.