MiningNews

Ashanti Region: Residents protest against “destructive” quarry blasting in Nkukua-Buoho

This demonstration reveals the deep-seated concerns of the residents over the adverse impacts of quarry activities in the area

Residents of Nkukua Buoho in the Afigya Kwabre South District of the Ashanti Region residents are up in arms against quarry companies Modern Granite and ESM, protesting the destruction of their properties caused by constant explosions.

This demonstration reveals the deep-seated concerns of the community over the adverse impacts of quarry activities.

Large granite stone deposits create an imposing skyline visible across affected towns and expose the residents to a serious health threat.

The angry residents, on Tuesday morning, took to the streets, blocking roads leading to the community.

“We have sent several petitions and appeals to the local authorities, and we are yet to hear from them. The Regional Minister is aware of this, but he seems to have turned deaf ears to our plight. Our only resort is the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and I humbly pray he comes to our aid”, one of the protesters said.

“We are very disturbed over the rate of destruction in our homes. All our houses have developed cracks, and this has exposed us to a looming danger. We will pursue this with our last breath”, another said.

Police were deployed to the scene to clear the road and maintain peace. The protesters later marched to the premises of the Modern Granite Company to present a petition to its management.

Operations manager of Modern Granite Company, Ramsey Adams, who received the document on behalf of the company used the occasion to rather tout their community interventions since its establishment.

“We have been supporting the communities in diverse ways using the quarry fund which has been established by the Assembly. We have constructed bridges and schools at Bronkrong, and Monwire Junction among other communities. We want to assure you that we will partner with the Assembly to address all the challenges you have raised including the roads”, he said.

In 2022, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources observed a threat to future mining of granite deposits as quarry sites in the Ashanti region are encroached by private developers.

The local assemblies had said it was becoming increasingly difficult to mine the resource. Deputy minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, said structures found to have breached any laws face demolition without compensation to their owners.

Afigya Kwabere South, DCE, Christian Adu Poku, told the minister, that continuous encroachment of the quarry sites will deny the assembly of badly needed revenue for development.

“We take GHC5 per cubic meter for every load that goes out of Afigya Kwabere South. Out of the GHC5, GHC1 comes directly to the assembly as a business operating permit. Another GHC1 is also given to the Quarry Association to help them develop themselves. The remaining GHC3 will be used for development projects for the community to benefit” he said.

The deputy Lands Minister, George Mireku Duker called for investigations into developments close to the quarry sites. He said structures found to be illegal would be demolished.

Reporting by Jonathan Ofori, Nkukua Boaho, Ashanti Region

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