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11.03.2009 Regional News

Farmers and landlords demonstrate for the payment of compensation

By gna

More than 500 farmers and landlords from 12 communities whose food crops and buildings were destroyed during the construction of the 15-kilometre Nkawkaw by-pass on the Anyinam-Kumasi Highway last week-end, demonstrated against the management of SONITRA Construction Company limited, contractors on the project for the non-payment of their compensation since 2006.

The demonstrators wearing red arm bands and singing war songs at Abipotia, near Nkawkaw, were from Oframase, Ampekrom, Kofi Sika, Domeabra, Asubone, Abipotia, Amanfrom, Damisikrom, Kwaaman, Awendade, Saafi and Asona.

Mr Semenyor Michael, a Spokesman for the demonstrators told Ghana News Agency, that they had no response from several petitions sent to the former Chief of Staff, Minister of Roads and Transport, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), the contractors, former Eastern Regional Minister and Kwahu West Municipal Chief Executive last year.

He said although some compensation were paid to some landlords and farmers during the construction of the first phase of the project, no compensation had been paid for the second phase and appealed to the authorities involved to ensure early payment of their compensation.

Mr Victor Annan, an Engineer of GHA, consultants on the project when contacted at Asona project site, said the valuation department of GHA had valued all the properties involved and approved by Land Valuation Board for payment but had delayed due to lack of funds.

He said some certificates presented by the contractors to Government for payment since July last year, had not been honoured to enable them pay the compensation.

Mr Annan appealed to the demonstrators to exercise patience for Government to release funds for the payment of their compensation.