The woes of Newmont Ghana Ltd are deepening as Landowners at Akyem Kotoku in the Birem North District hit the streets on Tuesday, July 24, to demand their rights in compensations due them for their lands.
Spokesperson of the landowners, Ntiamoah Denkyira, disclosed that, after suspending their earlier demonstration to make way for mediation, it appears the only option left now is a massive demonstration to press home their demands for proper compensation.
“We were hoping to come to an amicable settlement of the matter through dialogue and mediation but it appears Newmont wants to take advantage of the situation to shortchange us,” Mr. Denkyira disclosed.
“We are going on a three-day demonstration to press home our demands for compensation for our land and crops destroyed to pave way for Newmont to operate. They have given us only a year and we need the remaining fourteen (14) extra years,” he stated.
The compensation package for the landowners, mostly farmers, indicate that, for an acre of land, each landlord is given GHC600.00, an equivalent of $130.00.
The compensation package for each acre of cocoa was GHC7,200.00; an acre of citrus is GHC4,200.00 and same for an acre of palm trees.
The landlords claim the amount was to cover a year’s compensation for the destruction of the crops for a project that would last 15 years and land and crops that have become irrecoverable for life due to the massive destruction to the land for mining.
The residents also claim Newmont failed to employ the youth of the area as part of its promises and commitment to the community.
Numerous houses in the area have developed cracks as a result of blasts in the mines that rendered the buildings risky for the residents.
The three-day demonstration, according to the residents, would surely come on without fear as the Police have been notified.
Newmont Ghana Ltd. has been under fire at its operational area in Akyem for alleged exploitation and failed promises.