It was all joy at Kyeradeso near Nkoranza in the Bono East region when some four communities finally inaugurated projects funded by Advocates for Community Alternatives (ACA), a non-governmental organisation, as their reward for fiercely resisting attempts by the then Newmont Ghana Gold Limited to mine on their lands and deprive them of their livelihoods.
The Communities are Donkro-Nkwanta, Kyeradeso, Nwoase and Salamkrom. ACA supported each of the communities with $9,000.00 to undertake a project of their choice.
Various dev’t projects
Kyeradeso had no health facility and to avoid the situation where the people of the area travel to nearby-communities for medical attention, the people decided to use their amount to put a CHPS Compound while Salamkrom constructed a 4-unit nurses’ quarters to accommodate nurses posted to the area.
For the people of Nwoase, their main concern was to have accommodation facility for teachers in the town so that they would not have to commute from neighboring towns to work on a daily basis.
To this end, they have constructed a 4-unit Teachers’ Quarters to secure teachers in the area a convenient place to lodge and work with comfort.
Donkro-Nkwanta, on the other hand, has constructed a 1,400 seating capacity Community Centre to serve as a suitable place of holding major public gatherings.
Speaking at the ceremony at Kyeradeso to officially inaugurate all the projects, the Nkoranza South Municipal Chief Executive, Diana Attaa Kusiwaa commended ACA for their intervention and assured the people that government will continue to partner communities and organisations to spread developments across various areas.
She applauded the people of the area for their team work and communal spirit which immensely contributed to the successful execution of the projects and asked them to keep it up.
The Executive Director of ACA, Jonathan G. Kaufman, noted that his organisation extended its operations to Nkoranza South because of threats by some multi-national organisations in the extractive industry to exploit the mineral resources in the area.
“ACA, we came here because these were the communities that were strong enough and united against mining companies and said no, “you can’t have our lands, you can’t take our community away from us”, and we said ok, this is great, these people have done well, but now we have to see how we support them to continue to be strong…..so we brought this process”, he said in an interview.
“We’re continuing with them. If they ever face any threats for their future, for their vision, we will stick with them to fight for the future that they want”, he added.
In 2011, Newmont’s efforts to undertake large scale mining at Donkro-Nkwanta and its surrounding communities were met with ferocious resistance by the people of the area to the extent that officials of the company and some chiefs of the Nkoranza Traditional Council who had gone there to persuade the people had no choice but to run helter skater.
They people vowed never to allow any extractive work to take place on their land as a result of the damming effects of such an activity.
To this end, ACA, an international organisation that works to support communities threatened by mining activities in Africa established a relationship with the communities and has since been offering various support to them.
A few months ago, for instance, ACA in partnership with the Nkoranza South Municipal Assembly sensitized 22 communities within the Donkro-Nkwanta Zonal Council on participatory budgeting to strengthen local governance in the area.