Irate youth of Asamang Tamfoe in Atiwa East District in Eastern Region have attacked and set ablaze a container on an alleged community mining site.
The arson attack is in protest against community mining which the youth have likened to illegal mining.
All items including cement and other mining and construction tools and materials in the two forty-feet containers were set on fire.
The attack on the mining site was preceded by a public forum organized by the Concerned youth of Asamang Tamfoe which residents in the community resolved to kick against mining in the area to protect a few arable lands left for agricultural purposes.
The aggrieved youth accused their Chief Osabarima Kwame Koh and his elders, the DCE for Atiwa East Kwabena Panin Nkansah and the NPP Eastern Regional Chairman Kingston Okomeng Kissi for being behind the so-called Community mining ongoing on about 40 hectares of land.
According to the incensed youth, the mining activities of the alleged community mining is polluting river bodies, degrading farmlands, depleting natural resources and exposing residents to the danger of being trapped dead in mining pits.
Yaw Owusu, a leader of the angry youth said “the company has no legitimate documents to mine. Also, there has not been any consultation with the Community on their operation rather operating under the cover of darkness”.
He alleged that “some men wearing military uniforms employed by a miner known as Kwadwo Danso, used Honda vehicle with registration number GR 2613 – 20 marauding with the soldiers to terrorise residents amidst firing of gunshots at the site. The mining operators do not have proper documents attached to their community Mining which has fueled the youth to organize demonstrations yet the NPP regional chairman, DCE and the constituency chairman have not shown any concern. But the regional Chairman has put two, forty feet of container structure in the site supposed to use it as their office” .
Ernest Anim, one of the Converners told Starr news, the youth will not allow illegal mining in the community.
The chief, Osabarima Kwame Koh however denied leasing land for any mining activity. He rather blamed residents for leasing their lands for the mining project .
Okyenhene kicks against community mining
Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin in April this year cautioned that, Akyem Abuakwa traditional council will no longer tolerate community mining policy introduced by the Akufo Addo led government citing that the policy is complete illegal mining in disguise causing serious destruction to lands and water bodies in Akyem area.
Ghana’s President Akufo Addo, on Wednesday, 25th July, 2019, launched the Community Mining Programme at Wassa Akropong, in the Western Region.
The Community Mining Programme was aimed at formalizing mining in selected communities across the country.
The Policy has since received lots of criticism by environmental watches who say it is causing more harm than good .
While addressing the Eastern Regional Minister and his entourage who paid courtesy call on the Ofori Panin palace during the weekend , Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin minced no word describing Community Mining Policy as ” Uncle or Senior brother of galamsey” .
“They are destroying lands and rivers.The last time the Minister of Lands and Natural resources came here, I told him point-blank that, they shouldn’t deceive us with Community mining, It will end nowhere. Community mining is like Uncle or Senior brother of galamsey. They degrade lands and pollute river bodies just as galamsey
There is no accountability, no reclamation. But they say it is government policy. We will not allow these to continue because when the rivers are destroyed [Minister ] they don’t blame the MCE rather the Okyenhene because the lands belongs to me”
Okyenhene continued that “I have personally told the President, I also had opportunity yesterday to speak to the Finance minister yesterday. I will also speak to Abu Jinapor. Enough is enough. We will not allow community mining to go on here. We will not allow it. It is not doing any good to anyone, not even government. River bodies, lands and forest should not be destroyed under NPP government. We need to put and end to it . We must stop it now.