Regional News of 2014-01-18

Keta Lagoon does not belong to Agbozume - Adina chiefs

The Royal Gbenyo Stool Father of Adina in the Volta Region, Togbe Seth Abotsi, has contested the claim by the chiefs and people of Agbozume that the Keta Lagoon where salt is being mined by a British company belongs to them.

Togbe Abotsi made the call when he led a three-member delegation to the Graphic offices in Accra to react to the Daily Graphic publication of December 27, 2013.

The publication had carried a story in which the chiefs and people of Abgozume had expressed concern about the government’s decision to give the lagoon to a foreign company to mine salt.

The chiefs and people of Agbozume in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region staged a protest on December 25, 2013, accusing the government of taking their livelihood away from them by giving the Keta Lagoon to the Kesington Salt Factory to mine salt.

Hundreds of people, including the elderly and children, led by the chiefs of Kpejakope, Nogokpo and surrounding villages, joined the protest.

The protest, which also attracted the Volta Regional Security Co-ordinator, Lt Col David Dovlo and dozens of police personnel led by the Regional Police Commander, Mr O. I. Mensah to the area, brought activities in the area to a halt.

The people claimed that without consulting them, the government decided to give the lagoon on which their livelihoods depended to the mining company.

They also said the activities of the mining company were denying them access to the lagoon, thereby increasing poverty in the area, exposing them to environmental danger, as well as making life unbearable.

Reacting, Togbe Abotsi said it was a fact that the land from the Atlantic Ocean to Adinamornu,(which is being called Kpedzakope) into which the large Keta Lagoon flows to its centre was the property of the Adina stool and its people.

He indicated that it was the people of Adina who gave out the consent for the establishment of the mining company and that the Kensington Industries Limited (KIL) was not an Indian Company but a British company.

Togbe Abotsi added that Togbe Awuaba V was ,therefore, called to conform to the decision arrived at the Regional Security Council (RESEC) meeting on the salt winning project at Adina on 15th November, 15, 2013 at the Ketu South Assembly.

The meeting, he indicated, was attended by the Deputy Regional Minister, the Ketu South Municipal Chief Executive and heads of all security agencies, adding that another meeting of municipal Security Council was also held on December, 5, 2013 to resolve the issue.

According to him, Kensington Industries Limited was duly registered in Ghana and was involved in a legal business of setting up an Industry with relevant leases and licences obtained from the relevant government agencies.

Togbe Abotsi, therefore, called on communities in the Ketu South Municipality to allow the area to develop in order to catch up with the rest of the country.

He said, “the Ketu South Municipality needs progress in economic emancipation” According to him, the Kensington Industries Limited was duly registered in Ghana, adding that its operations were legal and had an aim of bringing up industrial and economic development to the whole community.

Touching on the environmental protection of the land, he said it was a process which was in progress and all the relevant government agencies were working assiduously to safeguard the community.