Asamang-Tamfoe citizens vow to resist mining

BY: Haruna Yussif Wunpini
Mr Adade Wiredu (arrowed) with some of the demonstrators holding placards at the mining site at Asamang-Tamfoe
Mr Adade Wiredu (arrowed) with some of the demonstrators holding placards at the mining site at Asamang-Tamfoe

A group calling itself Concerned Citizens of Asamang-Tamfoe near Anyinam in the Atiwa East District of the Eastern Region has kicked against the designation of Asamang-Tamfoe stool lands as a community mining zone.

The group has, therefore, vowed not to allow either illegal mining (galamsey) or licensed small-scale mining within the area.

They explained that the activities of such miners, especially galamsey that was already taking place in the community, had destroyed arable lands in the area and also leading to the pollution of the Kobeng and the Birim rivers, their sources of drinking water.

The group made these known at a press conference held at Asamang-Tamfoe yesterday that they would resist any attempt to make Asamang-Tamfoe a community mining zone and all forms of mining within the vicinity.

It was preceded by a protest march from the community to some mining sites where the vegetative cover had been destroyed by the activities of some illegal and small-scale miners.

Clad in red and black T- shirts with red armed bands, the protesters displayed placards which some read "Protect our lands and water bodies”, “Say no to illegal mining and community mining”, “We are not ready for the creation of community mining on our lands”, “Mr President, we trust your judgement”, among others.

Negative effects

The convener of the group, Mr Adade Wiredu, said the negative effect of illegal mining and surface mining on nearby towns such as Anyinam, Ankaase and Akyem Mampong where arable lands had been completely destroyed with no reclamation plans to salvage such lands had informed their decision.

Mr Wiredu indicated that Asamang - Tamfoe, which had not yet witnessed any form of community mining, would vehemently resist any attempt by miners to set foot on such arable lands.

He said they were aware that very soon the community mining zone would be launched at Asamang -Tamfoe to cover portions of the stool lands and explained that the people in the community never approved or supported any form of surface mining on the stool lands.

He said the people would, therefore, oppose or resist such initiative for the betterment of the people and future generations.

Reaction

When the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Atiwa East, Mr Kwabena Panin Nkansah, was reached for his comments, he denied knowledge of the launch of any community mining scheme in the area.

He added that if indeed such a launch was to take place in the community, his outfit would have been notified in writing to that effect.