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25.08.2005 General News

Stop BGL's irresponsible and arrogant mining - Community

GNA

Accra, Aug. 25, GNA - The Prestea Concerned Citizens Association on Thursday appealed to the Government to stop Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL) from continuing with its "irresponsible and arrogant" mining methods. "Considering the way BGL is conducting its mining operations and the insensitivity of the Company to the effects of its operations on the socio-economic lives of the people in the area, Prestea, Himan, Dumase and surrounding communities will soon become ghost towns," the Association said.

Mr Emmanuel Quarm, Secretary of the Association, who addressed a press conference in Accra, with support from the Wassa Communities Affected By Mining (WACAM), said the problems of Prestea, Himan, Dumasi and environs should be seen as a national problem.

He said BGL was virtually mining the Prestea town and "it has become a common occurrence of Prestea residents to have their television sets, DVDs, video decks and other appliances damaged by the intensity of blasting (by the company)".

Mr Quarm said the intensity of blasting was destroying buildings in the area adding that there was a systematic destruction of important social amenities in Prestea and Himan.

"Currently the mining operations of BGL are so close to the Prestea Government Hospital that the intensity of the blasting operations sends panic and shock among the patients."

He said BGL was dumping its mining waste less than 30 meters from the Government Hospital, saying they feared that the waste might soon take over the Hospital.

Mr Quarm said the activities of BGL had destroyed the only filling station, in Prestea thereby creating an artificial shortage of fuel in the township. "Vehicles in Prestea and Himan have to travel to Bogosu for fuel.

"The insensitivity of BGL is surprising and the apparent weakness of mining regulatory agencies to call the impunity of BGL to order is equally shocking."

Mr Quarm reiterated the call by the community for investigations into the shooting of peaceful demonstrators, who had gone through the due process of law to assert their constitutional right to demonstrate. "We call on Parliament to take into account the numerous violations of community rights and enact laws that would protect communities and settlements from irresponsible investors, who come into the country under the guise of investors to develop Ghana, but end up destroying communities and their livelihoods."

He also called on the Government to protect the rights of citizens.

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