GREL loses about €100,000 on destruction of rubber trees in the W/Region


Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL) has lost about 100,000 Euros as a result of the destruction of over 19,000 rubber trees on 40 hectares by some people, alleged to be in the company’s operational area.

The destruction of the rubber trees, were at Block A1, A2 and C6 at Gyabengkrom in the Ahanta West Municipality of the Western Region.

These rubber trees which are on state land were planted last year to replace some old ones; Shaibu Karimu Bayugo, Plantation Development Manager of GREL told the media when they visited the plantation to ascertain the extent of damage.

Narrating the incident, Mr. Bayugo said the damaged trees were detected last week Tuesday and Wednesday when he was going about his daily duty on checking on the plantation.

He believed the action was carried out at night. When asked if there were no securities to guard the plantation; he said, “There were some stationed at the plant but the size of the plantation is so big to the extent that not all the divisions can be covered by them”.

He recalled that in 2022, a similar destruction occurred on 20,000 hectares and those perpetrators could not be found.

“Our Corporate Affairs Department had an engagement with the chiefs on the incident and we re-planted since it was a season for rains” he said.

Asked what has been the relationship between GREL and the communities, he said “the company, has had a good relationship with the communities over the years. Few years ago, some of the communities were agitating for some parcels of land to be used for farming and this issue was solved amicably with the support of the Association of Chiefs on Whose Land GREL Operates (ACLANGO).

“For us to have a plantation, we need to start all over again at a huge cost. Just two weeks ago, we engaged with the communities. I am therefore appealing to the chiefs to get to the bottom of this matter. This will not help attract the needed investment in the rubber industry”, he added.

Perry Acheampong, Corporate Affairs Manager of GREL said the cutting down of rubber trees will have an effect on the local economy.

“We create a lot of employment opportunities and other stuff for the people. If they have issues or grievances they shouldn’t take the law into their own hands. We expect the authorities to act and investigate this matter and anyone found culpable should be brought to book” he added.

Nana Kwesi Agyemang, Chairman of ACLANGO said “going to the field, we are disappointed and sad about the behaviour of those who destroyed the rubber plantation.

“If you have any grievances, there is a way to channel to and not to take the law into your own hands” he said.

Statement issued by the ACLANGO

A statement, issued by the Association of Chiefs on Whose Land GREL Operate (ACLANGO) said “this act is extremely barbaric, criminal, backward, and non-progressive. We vehemently condemn these devious acts of vandalism, illegal take-over, and occupation of GREL lands by some persons in the Western Region.

“In the past four years, some individuals purporting to serve the interest of Nananom have been encroaching on GREL’s legally acquired lands for various uses. It is pertinent to note that since 1993, GREL and Nananom through ACLANGO have been working and living peacefully and that anytime a community needed portions of GREL’s legally acquired concession for community expansion, or any developmental project, the parties engage each other in a peaceful manner until an agreement is reached” he said.

According to the statement, his sudden trend of forceful take-over of GREL lands under the guise of “community expansion” and for “galamsey” can be best described as an act of illegality that needs to be condemned right away and the perpetrators, regardless of their social, economic, and political status, brought to book in accordance with the laws of Ghana.

Again, the statement said ACLANGO vehemently condemns the destruction of GREL plantation and other violent attacks on GREL staff by some hoodlums.

“Whilst we resort to our usual engagement with the Management of GREL and other stakeholders, we call on the Ghana Police Service to swiftly and thoroughly, investigate, arrest, and prosecute any person, or group of persons, who are connected to this heinous crime, in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Ghana. This is the only way we can attract and retain the needed investors in our local communities” the statement concluded.

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