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Ahanta farmers demand compensation for land acquired for oil projects

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Some farmers in Princess Town and Egyambra in the Ahanta West District, have appealed for governmental support towards the payment of compensation for lands acquired for oil-related projects.

They say their lands, acquired in 2008, should be immediately returned to them if their compensation cannot be paid soon.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in separate interviews, representatives of the communities said their farmlands were leased to Cirrus Energy and Soroma Capital Limited and though they were yet to be paid, they had been stopped from cropping on them.

“We were told that construction would start soon after acquisition but that has not happened yet,” they said.

Pumpuni and Akwereboanda communities were slated for re-location to pave way for the construction of an Oil Refinery on a 300-acre land, while Princess Town has offered 598 acres to Soroma Capital for a golf park, an air strip and a five star hotel.  Egyambra would house a harbour.

A visit by the GNA to these communities showed that no constructional works had begun in the affected communities and the farmers, youth and opinion leaders expressed their displeasure at the state of affairs.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Egyambra, Mr. George Yalley, a representative of the youth, said most people were going through severe hardships.

Most of the people, he said, had migrated to Azani, Abura Ahanta, Agona Nkwanta and other surrounding towns to enable them to make ends meet.

Mr. Yalley said it would be better for them if Cirrus released their lands for them to resume their farming activities because it appeared the projects would not take off soon.

Safohene Kwesi Nyenko, an elder of the Pumpuni Community, told the GNA that their hopes for a new life in the resettlement community were dying gradually.

He said they were promised schools, a community centre, alternative livelihood projects, among others, but as of March now, the new site had not been demarcated neither had any work begun.

Mr. Jones Amoah, District Chief Executive for Ahanta West, in an interview, noted with concern the undue delay in starting the proposed projects for the communities.

“The continual delays are affecting our farmers and many of them could become a burden on society,” he added.

Mr. Amoah said he was surprised after two years, no project had started yet the farmers had also been stopped from working on the lands.

Mr. Amoah said the Ahanta West Assembly would provide an independent valuer to assist in ensuring that the farmers get their due share of the compensation.

He appealed to all organisations that had secured lands in the Ahanta area to get their documents rectified by the assembly to prevent conflicts and land litigation in the future.

Mr. Amoah again advised those who had secured lands but were no longer interested to return them to their original owners.

Source: GNA

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