The Obuasi based Pompora Treatment Plant (PTP) AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) Smoke Effect Association, which comprises affected members of communities such as Animadukrom, Sampsonkrom, Abompenkrom, said the smoke from the plant, which then polluted the environment, had led to the emergence of a strange skin disease popularly called “Obuasi Terrazzo” among residents.
Mr Bernard Naah, Vice President of the Association who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the sidelines of the third National Campaign Forum of NCOM held at Obuasi on Thursday said the smoke had brought poor health conditions including sight problems among residents.
The forum was to share experiences and challenges of mining to inform public policy choices.
He said most of the ladies in the affected communities could not find husbands because of the skin disease which scared away prospective suitors.
He said realizing the effects of the smoke on the residents, AGA about eight years ago, redirected the course of the smoke from the communities but the devastation caused continued to live with the people.
Mr Naah said a number of complaints had been made to the company but it refused to accept responsibility of the effects of the smoke on the health of the residents.
He called on government to compel AGA to find ways to address the health concerns of the affected residents.
Mr Enoch Anhwere Afoakwah, President of the Adansi Students Union, called on the AGA to be responsive with its social responsibility initiatives to address the challenges of the residents.