Farmers in two communities demonstrate against Newmont

Farmers in two communities in the operation area of the Newmont Akyem Gold Mine project had demonstrated against the company for non-payment and delay in the payment of compensation for crops Newmont destroyed.

But the Communications Manager of the Newmont Akyem Project, Mr Oduro Kwarteng Marfo, said compensation had been paid to 12 out of 14 farmers whose farms were destroyed two months ago.

He said there was a dispute over ownership of the land of two farmers and they would be paid as soon as the ownership issue was settled.

The farmers took to the roads and blocked those leading to the operation areas of the company at Yayaaso and Hweakwae last week.

The New Abirem police were called in to stop the demonstrators but no arrest was made.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Yayaaso a spokesperson for the farmers, Mr Kwame Denkyirah, said about two months ago the company built drills and roads to their farms and destroyed crops.

He said officials of the company promised to pay compensation to 14 farmers whose crops were destroyed and to give them food ration but till now not all the affected farmers had been catered for and the food ration was also not supplied.

Mr Denkyirah said on June 14, workers of Newmont again built another drill and a road into his farm and destroyed some teak trees and citrus.

On the payment of compensation for the teak and citrus destroyed, Mr Kwarteng Marfo said the company had negotiated with the farmers who cultivated the crops and agreed on the compensation but the farmers did not inform the company that Mr Denkyirah was the landlord.

On the complaint for delay for the payment of compensation, he explained that the company used agreed rate by the Review Crops Compensation Committee where all the affected communities have representatives.

Mr Kwarteng Marfo said this year’s rates were not ready adding that farmers who wanted last year’s rate to be used to pay their compensation and to collect the difference later when the new rate is ready had been paid their compensation.

He said farmers whose compensation was not paid to them were the ones who wanted to wait until this year’s rate is ready.

Mr Kwarteng Marfo appealed to the farmers to allow the committee to negotiate for fair and adequate rate for payment of all compensation for crops and other properties destroyed during Newmont’s operations.

Source: GNA

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