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General News of Thursday, 2 August 2012

Source: Steven Darko

3 collapse in anti- Newmont demo in Kenyasi

Residents of Kenyasi, a farming community in the Brong Ahafo Region, Thursday reportedly took to the streets to protest against the activities of Newmont Ghana Limited, a multinational mining company.

Reports say three people collapsed and were rushed to a nearby health facility when the police attempted to use teargas to disperse the over 800 irate youth.

Checks revealed that the demonstration, which started at exactly 8: a.m., blocked officials of Newmont access to their office, as hundreds of people took over the streets amid yelling and tooting of horns.

Community members, according to reports, accused the company of gross violation of the mining and minerals acts by polluting water bodies, which serve as their source of drinking water and destruction of their farmlands.

Demonstrators held placards with inscriptions such as “Govt. come to our aide because Newmont is killing us,” “we can’t be slaves in our country,” “Kenyasi deserves freedom from Newmont” “Prez. Mahama you are our last hope” among others, to press home their demands.

Newmont Ghana Limited has been undertaking underground mining in the area for years, but their activities have constantly provoked protestations from the inhabitants, who are calling on government to immediately cease the operations of the company.

In a telephone interview with Madam Afua Sarpong, Assembly Woman for Kenyasi No1, she reprimanded officials of Newmont of being insensitive to their plights and revealed that residents are prepared to fight for their rights, if their concerns are ignored.

“As opinion leaders, we have made series of complaints to the appropriate authorities, but it seem successive governments have left us to suffer in the dreadful hands of Newmont.

...And this is what the people are fighting. Nobody can say that this demonstration is illegal because we sort the consent of authorities and it was so peaceful,” Madam Afua Sarpong said.

She further called on government to immediately come to their aide and help address the predicaments of the community.

“I will seize this opportunity to call on the Mahama administration to help address this problem because we are all Ghanaians and we also deserve to live better,” she added.**

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