23 May 2012

Ghana: Mining Firm Posing Threats to Indigenes of Anlokrom

The activities of Golden Star Resources (GSR), a mining firm operating at Mpohor in the Mpohor Wassa East District of the region, is having an adverse effect on the indigenes of Anlokrom, a farming community.

This is as a result of the continuous blasting being undertaken by the mining company, which has culminated in the collapsing of structures. That apart, a good number of buildings have developed cracks as a result of the blasting.

What is more, the noise accompanying the blasting is the last straw which has compelled the indigenes to call for eventual resettlement, after years of withstanding the environmental dangers.

Recently, the residents of Prestea called on the government to shut down the company for environmental disregard. Anlokrom has a population of 500 people, and is located close to the mining firm.

When the Western File visited Anlokrom it observed that the people, particularly children, had developed strange skin diseases which could be a result of the pollution of the underground water which the indigenes depend on.

Considering the closeness of the indigenes to the mining firm's operations, the management of GSR has come to a conclusion to resettle the people, to which they have wholeheartedly agreed. Interestingly, there is problem with the kind of the resettlement package proposed by the mining firm, which the indigenes have kicked against.

The mining company has agreed to relocate the indigenes of Anlokrom who fall within the 300 metres radius, instead of the 500 metre radius which is the standard measurement for relocation. Though the Chief Inspectorate of Mines, Mr. Stephen Piedu, has confirmed that the standard measurement for relocation was 500 metres radius, the mining company had thrown the standard measurement to the dogs.

As at last Thursday, the mining company had succeeded in signing an agreement with those who fall within the 300 metres radius to resettle them. This development has angered a group in the area which styles itself as 'Stand For Your Right' to kick against the move by the mining company.

The leader of the group, Bernard Ahiati, explained to the media that he could not comprehend why the GSR had decided to twist the arms of the indigenes at the safety of the whole community.

This is because the residents of the 300 metres radius, which the mining company had decided to resettle, would pose a health risk to those just living a stone's throw to the border of the 300 metres radius. For this reason, it was reasonable, and for safety, that the mining company implements the 500 metres radius resettlement.

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