Land owners at Akyem Kotoku in the Birem North District have laced their shoes for a massive demonstration on Monday, July 17 against Newmont Ghana Ltd for alleged shortchanging and failed promises.
According to the spokesperson of the land owners, Mr. Ntiamoah Denkyira, Newmont Ghana has shortchanged them by paying only one year’s compensation for plots of land and crops destroyed to make way for their mining activities.
“They have paid us only one year’s compensation for a project that is going to last fifteen (15) years so we are not going to sit down for them to take us for granted. They have to pay us the remaining 14 years or they would have no peace to operate,” Mr. Denkyira warned in an interview
He said: “We are meeting them on July 14 for their final word; but the demonstration is already set for Monday, July 17 and I can promise you that it will be fireworks.”
Information gathered on the compensation package for the land owners, mostly farmers; indicate that, for an acre of land, each landlord had six hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC600.00) an equivalent of about one hundred and thirty United States Dollars (USD130.00).
The compensation package for each acre of cocoa was seven thousand and two hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC7,200.00) or about one thousand and five hundred United States Dollars USD1500.00; an acre of citrus is four thousand and two hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC4,200.00) or about nine hundred United States Dollars (USD900.00) and same for an acre of palm trees.
The landlords claim the amount was to cover a year’s compensation for the destruction of the crops for a project that would last 15 years and land and crops that have become irrecoverable for life due to the massive destruction to the land for mining.
The residents also claim Newmont failed to employ the youth of the area as part of its promises and commitment to the community.
“They promised to give employment to our youth but have failed to do so. They promise at meetings but renege on their promises after, “Mr. Denkyira claimed.
The land owners have also threatened legal action as part of actions to ensure Newmont comply with the appropriate compensation package.
Newmont Ghana Ltd has been under fire at its operational area in Akyem for alleged exploitation and failed promises.
The Police have been notified of the demonstration and barring any concrete intervention from Newmont, the demonstration is bound to shake the foundation of the Birem North area.
By: PROSPER AGBENYEGA