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Farmers Angry at Newmont Akyem: threatens demonstration

The farmers from ten communities namely Afosu, New Abirem Maamaso, Old Abirem, Yaw Tano the others are Adawsena, Yayaso, Hweakwae, Ntronan and Agyeinua who released their land to Newmont Akyem gold mining company are now very angry and threatening to demonstrate if the company refused to hear to their

demands.

The residents are agitating over what the described as neglect by the Newmont Akyem on the issues grant rent, welfare of affected farmers and landlords, renegotiation of the agreements, the demand of sites plan on affected lands acquired and effects of blasting on building structures in the surrounding communities.

Speaking to the media, the chairman of the group, Affected Land Owners and Farmers Association, Mr. Ntiamoah Denkyira made it clear with an evidence the numerous times the Association has called on the management to resolved the issue but all proved futile.

“At a point in time, we were directed to the office of the Moderator Prof. Ntiful Siaw who is in charge of social responsibility forum but we only got to know that he (Prof. Ntiful Siaw) has nothing to do with the payment of rent to affected landowners but rather Newmont in a meeting at his office” – Mr.  Denkyira stated

According to the chairman of Newmont Akyem Affected Farmers Association (NAAFA) they held two meetings with Newmont Akyem Management on the 5th and 19th of September 2017 to address their issues which include all rent paid or to be paid to the affected farmers directly, the mode of payment should be discussed and any rent due them should not be disbursed until negotiation is completed.

He said agreement was made to the effect that any rent due them should not be channeled to any individual or a body for any purpose until discussions are completed, representatives of NAAFA should be given slots on the board of Newmont Akyem Development Foundations (NAKDEF), the affected landowners and farmers be included in all decision making processes that affect them.

Mr. Denkyira releaved that to their uttermost surprised another meeting which was scheduled for the 19th of October 2017 and to take place at the Afosu Durbar grounds Conference Hall at 2:00pm, the executives had a call from the Newmont Akyem management at the eleventh hour that they can not attend the meeting.

The Public Relations officer of the Newmont Akyem Affected Farmers Association, Mr. Twumasi Darkwa said according to the mineral and mining Act 2006, Act 703, clause 2 stated clearly that payment of grant rent and royalties to landowners or successors to affected farmers in any operational area of a mining company.

He added that the operation of the Newmont Akyem Mining Company is going to be in operation for almost hundred years which calls for proper negotiations which would not be a torn on their flesh.

“We own the lands and would do whatever we can to make negotiations not to the detriment of ours and the unborn generation. Again our lands are not stool lands, its either acquired or inherited property which needs to be protected.” – He said

“We were promised that as long as the activities of the company are in session and have not reached our farm yet we can continue to farm until the company gets to us, but as wicked as they are, you would never be informed. You would only visit your farm realizing your crops have been graded away.” – He alleges

“The indigenes cannot afford to buy common cassava due to the presence of the mining and the scarcity of farmlands to farm. The mining has ended as into abject poverty that is why we are calling for new negotiations to help sustain our living conditions” – he emphasized

Ama Ntiriwa, a member of the Newmont Akyem Affected Land Owners and Farmers Association also disclosed her disappointment on the part of the Newmont Akyem.

“We were promised to recruits at least one family member from all the affected farmers but it never came into reality. We don’t have land to farm to earn a living which has brought untold hardship unto us. we are not going to relax for them to use our land minerals to enrich themselves and leave us to suffer and die, for posterity would judge us.”

About Efo Korsi Senyo

Efo Korsi Senyo has over 4 years experience working as investigative journalist with Awake Africa. He is the Head of Awake Investigates. Connect with him via senyo@awakeafrica.com or WhatsApp: +233249155003

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