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08.07.2005 General News

Prestea, Himan ask to be relocated


Prestea (W/R), July 8, GNA - Residents of Himan and Prestea in the Western Region on Tuesday asked that they should be relocated before Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL) begins to mine the gold deposit discovered in Township.

They said because of the discovery of the gold deposit BGL had relocated the Police Station, pulled down some bungalows and earmarked more for destruction while the only Shell Filling Station in the town had been demolished.

Speaking at a press conference at Prestea on alleged inhuman treatment the BGL was giving to them on its surfacing mining activities in Prestea and Himan in the Wassa Fiase Traditional Area the residents said the Company had been blasting for gold outside the five kilometre radius of their original concession.

Alhaji Baba Ahmed, Vice Chairman of Concerned Citizens of Prestea, flanked by Nana Nteful Akuma II, Mr Benjimaw Blay Kwofie, Acting Tufuhene, said the activities of the BGL were a threat to life and property.

He said: "The blasting has left cracks in many buildings. Children fall off their beds. Television sets and glasses fall off their stands and break while louvre blades crack."

He said the people in May, 2002 rejected two separate environmental studies that they considered were injurious to them and yet the Company had gone ahead with its mining activities.

Alhaji Baba said despite the protests of the people and several meetings with the Company, BGL, because of its financial strength, had always made the people of Himan, Prestea and its environs look as if they were not human beings.

"On Wednesday June 15, this year the entire community and the surrounding villages embarked on a peaceful demonstration to register our protest, during which seven people were injured", he said.

Alhaji Baba said on the July 2 and July 3, BGL carried out a blast close to the town and "the earth shook, dust particles shot up and covered the whole Township with attendant health hazards to the people". He said the people were concerned about their health. He said since no amount of money could buy life, they were appealing to Government to come to their aid.

Many speakers at the press conference bemoaned the woes that had befallen them since surface mining began in the area about three years ago. Now, pipelines are being broken and their drinking water is being polluted thus threatening their livelihood.

The Public Relations Officer of BGL, Mr Magnus Adjakojo, declined to comment saying the Company would come out with a statement on the issue.