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20.04.2004 General News

Dumase Chief abdicates under pressure

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Dumase (W/R) April 20, GNA - Nana Kofi Odei II, Chief of Dumase in the Wassa West District of the Western Region, has been forced by the citizens to abdicate since February 2004 for allegedly colluding with mining companies to rip them off.

The Dumase community accused their Nana Odei of being inactive, unable to negotiate for better social amenities from mining companies operating within the area, Nana Gyima II, Tufuhene and Acting Chief, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview at Dumasi. He said Nana Odei, who was unable to contain the mounting pressure and insults from the youth, informed his elders about his decision to abdicate but when they refused to accede to his request, he left the Palace and has since been living in Bogoso.

Nana Gyima said sometime ago, Nana Odei and his elders negotiated for two boreholes and classroom blocks for the local primary and junior secondary schools from the Management of Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL) but the youth said much more should have been provided adding, "the youth became angry and refused to understand the explanations given by Nana Odei and threatened mayhem if nothing positive happened". Nana Gyima said water from the boreholes constructed for the Community was reddish in colour and tasted sour, thus compelling them to look for water elsewhere.

He said the Management of BGL, as a temporary measure, started providing them with water through its tanker service but this had been woefully inadequate.

"We wait daily with our receptacles in the sun for pipe-borne water from the tankers and if they fail to turn up, we rely on other sources of water," he said.

Nana Gyima said as a permanent measure, the community should be connected to the company's pipe-borne water system to "reduce our dependence on tanker service for water".

In another interview with Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, Executive Director of Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM), said there were many community issues to be resolved by the Bogoso Gold Limited.

He explained that the establishment of a mining pit at the watershed of five rivers that served Dumase and other communities led to the drying up of the rivers thus denying them their sources of potable water.

Mr Owusu-Koranteng said the water from the boreholes provided by the Company turns blue-black when it comes into contact with cassava and plantain.

Mr Henry Atakora, an Administrator of the BGL, said the Management was working out a plan to solve the water problems of the Dumasi Community.

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