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Regional News of Monday, 25 October 2004

Source: GNA

Anum Apapam goes on demonstration against mining company

Suhum (E/R), Oct. 25, GNA - More than 2,000 inhabitants of Anum Apapam in the Suhum/Kraboa/Coaltar District in the Eastern Region on Friday went on a four-hour demonstration to protest against the Black Art Mining Company Limited for the continued pollution of the river, their only source of drinking water.

The demonstrators, wearing red bands, singing war songs, marched to the site of the mining company to present a protest letter to the Managing Director of the company, Mr Francis Asare, but he was not available.

This nearly developed into a free fight between the inhabitants and the security staff of the company, but the timely intervention of the police and the Member of Parliament for Ayensuano, Mr Godfred Okyere, brought the situation under control.

The Assemblyman for the area, Mr E.T. Doku, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, explained that the inhabitants decided to go on the demonstration as a result of the continued pollution of their water bodies by the company.

He said three years ago, the company signed an agreement with the community on their mining activity, which included provisions that, during their operation, the company would construct a number of bole holes in some selected communities, provide 80 electricity poles for their electrification project and also rehabilitate some of the schools in the area.

Mr Doku said, however that, since then the company had never provided any of the items, rather it had been polluting the water bodies in the area.

He said on October 20, this year, when the people woke up in the morning to fetch water from the river Ayensu, they realized that the whole water had been polluted with some fish floating dead and they reported the situation to the elders of the town.

The District Chief Executive, Mr M.K. Mensah, who visited the town, appealed to the people to be calm, while the Assembly arranged for water tankers from Koforidua and Nsawam to provide them with water. Meanwhile, the police had intensified the search for the arrest of the Managing Director, Mr Asare, who was believed to have gone into hiding.