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Newmont Ghana says it would continue to respect and work with traditional authorities and follow accepted cultural practices in dealing with the issue of cemeteries located within the Yayaaso community.
According to Newmont, it has not exhumed or relocated any culturally significant site within the Yayaaso community.
“The company also stated that it has not exhumed or relocated any mausoleum or culturally significant sites. Newmont Ghana will continue to transparently and collaboratively engage with its host communities with honesty, trust and respect,” Randy Barnes, Newmont Ghana’s Regional Vice President for Environment and Social Responsibility said in statement copied to ghanabusinessnews.com August 5, 2011.
Mr. Barnes said the company is very aware and respectful of the sensitivities surrounding sacred places and the communities’ relationships with their ancestors and will in no way interfere in these cultural matters.
The Environmental Impact Statement submitted by Newmont Ghana for the Akyem project and approved by the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contained the social and environmental impacts of the project and mitigation plans which include those for the Yayaaso community, scattered hamlets and culturally significant sites and these issues have been extensively studied and publicly discussed, the statement indicated.
With the issue of culturally revered sites and royal mausoleum, according to Newmont Ghana, it understands that a committee of traditional leaders from both Yayaaso and Adausena are holding meetings to decide on the best traditional and culturally acceptable method to manage these sites and therefore has advised the company that they will provide the requirements for managing the issue, together with a road map of activities to be undertaken
“In general, the majority of the project-affected communities have participated in extensive consultations over the last seven years and are supportive of the Akyem project. There are some individuals who have residual issues that the company is working towards resolving, if at all possible,” says Newmont.
By Ekow Quandzie