Newmont Ahafo resettles 25 displaced households

Anthony Adusei Kwarteng, Land Access & Control Specialist-Newmont Ahafo Mine, hands over keys to Mrs. Hannah Koranteng of WACAM as other look on

Newmont Ghana has completed and handed over resettlement buildings to 25 households which were displaced by mining activities at Dormaa-Kantinka, a farming community within the Newmont Ahafo enclave.

The people were displaced after their homes were destroyed by the Newmont Subinka East Waste dump. Initially, Newmont was hesitant to resettle the affected persons on the premise of damaged homes being speculative structures. Some of the aggrieved victims rejected the initial compensation package offered by Newmont.

The people, with support from WACAM – an NGO, and Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL) contested the matter in the Accra High Court (Human Rights Division) for a befitting resettlement package. The court, in July 2018, in its ruling ordered Newmont to resettle 25 households at Dormaa-Kantinka as well as pay other entitlements.

In implementing the ruling, Newmont Ghana rented temporary apartments for affected persons until completion of the resettlement housing units. After years of construction work, Newmont Ghana has finally handed over the buildings to beneficiaries in a short ceremony.

One of the resettled persons, Monica Kuma-32, in an interview with the B&FT expressed joy for securing a permanent place of abode after a protracted dispute with the mining company. She commended WACAM, CEPIL and the Assembly for their intervention.

Ms. Kuma however raised concern about losing her source of livelihood (farmland) to the mine, and pleaded with Newmont and the Asutifi North District Assembly to find alternative livelihood activities for the resettled persons to make ends meet.

The Associate Executive Director of WACAM, Mrs. Hannah Owusu Koranteng, who witnessed the handing-over ceremony described it as “a mark of eight years of struggles” and the beginning of collaborative efforts by Newmont, the Assembly, community and NGOs to provide a better standard of living for the people as the company does business in peace to make profit.

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