*Following company’s move to forcibly take over their lands
Farmers in about seven communities in the Upper Denkyira West District in the Central Region are seething with anger against Perseus Mining (Ghana) Company Limited (PMGCL).
DAILY Analyst has gathered that hundreds of farmers in farming communities including Brofoyedu, Breman, Nkotimso, Oda, Yawso, Nkatieso, and Tiyehden in the Upper Denkyira West are miffed at Perseus and their assigns, following the announcement of a moratorium at its Nkosuo Mining Area.
These 7 communities hosting PMGCL’s mining operations have often recorded rights violations against farmers and locals.
The announcement by Perseus of a moratorium at its Nkosuo Mining Area is brewing tension in the said communities. This is largely because of the fact that the mining activities of PMGCL in the declared moratorium area covering 298.6 hectares would affect farmlands, buildings, fishponds among other properties of farmers and locals.
The moratorium christened “Nkosuo Pit and Haul Road Area” also includes areas for development and a buffer required to ensure that the community members are not affected by the mining and equally no one resides in the area.
Speaking at a public forum organised by Perseus in collaboration with traditional authorities in the 7 communities at Breman on Thursday, October 19, 2023, a Senior Officer of PMGCL, Mr Emmanuel Danso, announced that the Minerals Commission has granted his outfit approval for a mining area at Nkosuo, hence the declaration of a moratorium in the area, effective October 19, 2023.
Present at the forum were both the current and former Members of Parliament (MPs), Lawyer Ohene Darko and Samuel Nsowuah Gyan respectively, the various chiefs and elders in the Upper Denkyira West, representatives of the assemblies, opinion leaders, farmers and some of the locals.
There was also a heavy presence of the police to ensure security.
According to Danso, the moratorium allows the company to control development in the declared area which will affect properties in Nkotimso, Breman, Brofoyedu, Oda, Yaswo, Nkatieso and Tiyehden.
He, however, assured that in accordance with the law, PMGCL will compensate eligible land owners and lawful occupiers for buildings, crops, fishponds and deprivation of use in the moratorium area.
But this announcement has incurred the wrath of the farmers, many of who have vowed to use every legitimate means to stop Perseus from destroying their livelihoods. This was expressly manifested by the farmers who attended the event.
This latest development, DAILY Analyst has learned, if not looked at with a sense of urgency by the powers that be could portend danger.
One of the farmers, a widow, Ama Asantewaa, recounted her family’s traumatic experience suffered at the hands Diaso Police through the alleged orchestration of PMGCL.
She bewailed that her family has been grieved severally by the mining company, recalling a horrifying ordeal they went through, which culminated in the painful death of her late husband.
I want Perseus to hear me clearly that there is no way I will let go my farmlands, and I’ll do all it takes to protect my properties,” she averred.
For his part, the Chief Farmer of Breman, Emmanuel Boapong, cautioned that the farmers were not ready to give their lands and other properties to Perseus.
Our farms are our livelihoods: they are what give us money to fend for our families and also feed on. Therefore, we will fight tooth and nail to protect what are rightful and legally ours,” he further admonished.
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