14.04.2005 Regional News

Prestea youth demonstrate again

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Tarkwa, April 14, GNA - The youth of Prestea have staged another demonstration against the Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL) for unfair treatment being meted out to them by the company.

The angry youth, who wore red bands, stormed the Prestea office of the company, blocked the main entrance and prevented workers from either entering or going out.

They also stormed the mine site, beat drums, chanted Asafo songs and prevented the workers from carrying out their operations. One person got injured in the melee when a soldier fired a warning shot and was taken to the Prestea Government Hospital where he was admitted.

Speaking to the GNA, Nana Nterful Akuna 11, Benkumhene of Prestea/Himan who spoke on behalf of the demonstrators, said yesterday's demonstration was carried out to stop the company from demolishing a Senior Staff Club House and to stop the company from carrying out blasting activities entirely.

He said the community uses the Club House for their social gatherings and other important meetings and demolishing it would be a big blow to the community.

Nana Akuna said that BGL has so far demolished 13 of such structures and there had not been any replacement for the demolishing. ''If we allow the Club House to be destroyed will have no place to hold our meetings.''

Nana Akuna said any time the company carried out blasting, extensive damages were caused to their properties.

''Attempts to get the company to mitigate them has yielded no results. The company, which should be sited at least three miles away from the town, is now in the town and poses so many health hazards.'' ''We as a community cannot stop the company and its operations but our health as a people should also be a priority because BGL came to meet us on our lands, we are feeling the pinch.''

Mr Justice Andoh-Mensah, an assembly member at Prestea, said BGL had not lived up to its expectations because they have failed to honour all the promises the made to the community.

''All that BGL told us were a pack of lies.''

He said the company told them they were going to use scientific method of blasting, which would be devoid of noise and vibration among others but this had shown to be a lie.

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