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Opinions Wed, 18 Jul 2012

Krobos Petition the President of Ghana

For Immediate Release:

Krobos Petition the President of the Republic of Ghana over Limestone Mining in the area

Tuesday July 17, 2012; Odumase Krobo: A Krobo pressure group; Klo Hengme, is petitioning

the President of the Republic Ghana, John Evans Atta-Mills over the calamities and suffering the

people of Kroboland are facing as a result of the Limestone mining activities in the krobo area.

Mr. President, since the commissioning of the limestone project by your predeseccor; John

Agyekum Kuffuor at Odugblase in 2004, this limestone mining in Kroboland has proven to be

more of a curse than a blessing to the Krobo.

In lesser developed economies such as Ghana, the conventional view is that, extractions of

mineral resources like limestone from a particular area in the country should offer the potential

for growth, poverty reduction, and development. However, the case of Limestone Mining in the

Krobo region has proved otherwise.

Though informants (the Land Owners) revealed to Klo Hengme that they were not

satisfied with the procedure of land acquisition as well as compensation packages that was given

to them so far- a process they described as ‘confiscation of their major livelihood asset’- they

took solace in the expectation that the extraction of limestone in commercial quantities may

bring the much needed development to them and to the whole Kroboland in general. Despite the

revenues that the Government of Ghana and GHACEM are deriving from the limestone mining,

there is growing unease with regard to the real benefits accruing to the ordinary people in the

krobo region. A thorough cost / benefit analysis of limestone mining on these communities in the

Krobo area may show a negative figure. Mr. President, it will interest you to know that, eight (8)

years down the lane, there is no viable corporate social responsibility deal in place, Krobos are

not able to access royalties due to chieftaincy conflicts whiles conveyance fees received by the

two Municipal Assemblies (Yilo and Manya) are not well accounted for, since MCE’s are not

directly accountable to their people leaving Krobos to wallow in abject poverty.

The operations of Ghana Cement Company (GHACEM), has aggravated the woes of

krobos. The numerous trucks that are conveying limestone from the Krobo area are continuously

injuring and killing several krobos, and are destroying many of our valuable properties. A recent

example was what happened on the 6

th

of July 2012, when one of GHACEM’s heavy duty tipper

trucks hauling limestone from the krobo area ran into a Hyundai mini bus killing one person

instantly, and seriously injuring everyone in the bus. It will also be recalled that some months

ago, a similar incidence occurred when another GHACEM truck ran into a house at OdumaseAdome killing one man instantly whiles he was fast asleep in his home.

This manslaughter and

the destruction of properties cannot continue any longer.The main Somanya-Odumase-Kpong roads, as well as the Odumase-Assesewa road

networks have deteriorated so fast as a result of this same mining activities by GHACEM. Our

roads have simply become death traps, and are no longer safe for both motorist and pedestrians.

Whiles GHACEM has a limited capacity to offer employment to Krobos as only a few indigenes

are employed in the mines; it has failed to provide any viable alternative livelihood projects to

the farmers around the mining area at Odugblase like what other responsible corporate entities do

in other areas. Farmers around Odugblase and its environs are experiencing declining yields,

their income is dwindling and their livelihood situation is fast deteriorating. The question to ask

is, why does government grant mining licenses to mining companies? Whose interest must

prevail, the people of Ghana or the corporate firms? Who is supposed to monitor their operations

and make sure local people’s rights are not violated? One farmer (Land owner) stated ‘‘we were

better off during the days when we mined limestone privately. It provided job for everyone. The

environmental impacts were less, our income was higher, our roads were in a better shape and

our people were not slaughtered. Ghacem is killing us and we cannot take it any more’’.

It must be noted that the Constitution and the Minerals and Mining Act as amended in

2006 states clearly that, ‘Every mineral in its natural state, in, under or upon land in Ghana,

rivers, streams, water-courses throughout the country, the exclusive economic zone and an area

covered by the territorial sea or continental shelf is the property of the Republic and is vested in

the President in trust for the people of Ghana’’ (Ghana Minerals and Mining Act 2006). Against

this background, we are petitioning the President; H.E John Evans Atta-Mills, to bring to order

the appropriate institutions to coerce GHACEM to show more responsibility to the Krobo region,

for it is those institutions that granted the lease to GHACEM without adequately consulting our

traditional leaders and landowners.

What benefit do we get as a people if we lose our hitherto livelihood activity (quarrying),

natural assets (limestone and land) to GHACEM without adequate compensation, alternative

livelihood program, deteriorating roads, deaths, unemployment etc? Is that why we give out our

resources to resource developers? The people of Manya and Yilo Krobo are saying enough is

enough. We are therefore calling on the President to act now, failure to do so within 14 days

which will provoke the wrath of krobos and we will advise ourselves accordingly.

Cc:

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources

The Minerals Commission

GHACEM Limited

The Eastern Regional Minister

The Traditional Councils of Manya and Yilo Krobo The MCEs of Manya and Yilo Krobo Municipalities

Ghana Police Service, Akuse, Odumase Krobo and Somanya

All Media Houses.

All Krobo Youth Groups.

For more information contact

Eric Tamatey-Sikatse

(Director- Research and Evaluation)

Mobile: 0243804684

Ike Otu Tamatey

(Director- Management and Planning)

Mobile: 0244036651

Immanuel Nakotey Adade

(Director of Communications)

Mobile: 0249560139/0201394949

Abraham Teye-Kudjo

(Director- Logistics and Organization)

Mobile: 0248843196

Isaac Tetteh Amanor

(Director – International Relations)

Mobile: 0244590744

Columnist: Klo Hengme Pressure Group