Landowners at Akyem Kotoku in the Birem North District of the Eastern Region of Ghana will hit the streets on Tuesday, July 24, to demand their rights in land compensations due them from Newmont Ghana.
According to the landowners, after suspending an earlier protest to make way for mediation, it appears the only option left now is a demonstration to press home their demands for proper compensation from the miner.
“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; they want to short-change us,” Spokesperson of the group, Ntiamoah Denkyira lamented.
The value of the compensation package for the landowners, mostly farmers, is GHC600.00, an equivalent of $130.00 for an acre of land.
They said for each acre of cocoa land, Newmont is to pay GHC7,200.00; and GHC4,200.00 for acre of citrus as well as an acre of oil palm.
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 caused by the company’s activities.
Mr. Denkyira added: “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.”
Among other things, the group, also complained that Newmont failed to employ 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,” a resident said.
The group further stated that they were determined to carry out the three-day demonstration to put a stop o what describe as exploitation and failed promises.