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28 Jun 2024

Prince Acquah, Ghana News Agency

Ghana: Youth in lithium mining communities vow to obstruct mining activities if demands on compensation are not met; incl. Co. comments

'Lithium mining: Youth make strong demands for development, employment’ 28 June 2024

The youth from the 12 communities affected by the proposed lithium mining project in the Mfantseman Municipality and Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District have bared their teeth at the mining company, Atlantic Lithium, over suspicions of deceit and exploitation. They have vowed to obstruct the project if the promises of development made by the company were not fulfilled and their demands for employment and adequate compensations not met. Pointing to the tattered state of some mining communities like Tarkwa in the Western Region and Obuasi in the Ashanti Region, the young men and women passionately insisted on their demands, stressing that they will not allow themselves to be taken for granted.

…They reiterated their concerns on employment, land and crop compensations, resettlement, pollution of waterbodies and air with its attendant mining diseases and the promise of a hospital, security, among others. “You said you will reclaim the lands and return them back to their original owners. We think you are deceiving us. Often, the land is given to the government, and it never gets back to the owners,” one of them said. “My farm has been earmarked for destruction. How will I feed my family,” an old woman asked…“Do not deceive us; it has serious health implications such as cancer, liver problems and miscarriages. Do you have health facilities to take care of the sick. Are you building a hospital for us and when?” he queried.

…Meanwhile, Barari DV Ghana Limited, presenting portions of the EIS, assured the people that robust measures had been taken to reduce the negative impacts of the project including dust, noise, blasts, and water and air pollution. Mr. Adam Ahmed-Salim, the General Manager of the company, promised to protect their cultural heritage and undertake the resettlement with dignity and respect. He said the lands would be reclaimed at the project proceeded and the offices and warehouse might be handed over to the communities and assemblies. He also reassured them of various developmental projects including schools, hospitals, and roads. Mr. Ahmed-Salim pledged that the company would train some locals for the job and ask contractors to employ them but the minimum qualification for the training will be a Senior High School Certificate…Osagyefo Amanfo Edu IV, the Paramount Chief of Mankessim Traditional Area, indicated that they had read the report and found that all their concerns had been captured