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21.10.2005 General News

Newmont asked to resettle people

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Accra, Oct. 21, GNA - Mr Richard Adjei-Poku, Field Officer of Guards of the Earth and the Vulnerable, a non-governmental organization (NGO) on Friday reiterated the call on Newmont Gold Ghana Limited to either construct an access road or grant the resettlement demand of the people of Dokyikrom to prevent more people from drowning in the dam. Speaking at a press conference in Accra Mr Adjei-Poku said the dam over the Subri River had made the lives of the people in Dokyikrom and surrounding communities miserable because of the lack of access roads to enable them to move freely between the communities.

"Life is becoming unbearable with each passing day. School children can no longer attend classes. People now have to do a detour of about seven miles to visit their neighbours," he said.

The Press conference was necessitated by the drowning last Sunday, October 16 of two young men, who were using the access on the dam. Newmont said in a statement on Monday that the victims disregarded warnings from bystanders about the danger in attempting to walk over the crossway, which was submerged.

But Mr Adjei-Poku dismissed the claim, saying that the only witness to the incident was a friend of the two, who was walking with them. He said the reported cases of 'good Samaritans' trying to save the victims before they got drowned were also false.

"The incident was reported to Newmont officials by the friend of the victims," he said, and added that the company could not escape blame for the death of the two people.

Mr Adjei-Poku said Newmont could have put notices or fenced the dam, when it realized that the water level was high and the crossway had submerged to warn the people of the communities of the danger in using the crossway.

To avoid any more loss of life, Mr Adjei-Poku said the only option left was for Newmont to resettle or construct an access road to make lives worthwhile for the people in the communities.

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