MAC: Mines and Communities

Ghana: Residents along "polluted river" threaten to deal with Newmont

Published by MAC on 2012-01-16

Residents along "polluted river" threaten to deal with Newmont

By Akuamoah Boateng

Adom News (Ghana)

5 January 2012

Residents of Kwame Boahenkrom in the Asutifi north district of the Brong Ahafo Region have threatened to deal ruthlessly with Newmont Ghana Gold Limited if they do not halt polluting their water bodies.

According to the residents, water bodies in the surrounding villages have been polluted by operations of Newmont thereby poisoning their source of drinking water.

Pollution of River Subri has affected communities including Ahunukrom, Kwaku Addaikrom, Akorongo, Kwameduanekrom and other surrounding villages which have allegedly caused the death of fishes in the river and livestock that drink from the river.

A resident of Kwameduanekrom and local official of the Wassa Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM), Yakubu Adusah told Adom Fm on Wednesday that Newmont have turned down deaf ears to their plight after several reports made to them.

They have therefore threatened that if government refuses to address their concerns, they will advise themselves.

However, the Head of External Affairs and Communications Directors, Adiki Ayitevie has denied that River Subri has been polluted.

She explained that the dead fishes and livestock are as a result of loss of oxygen in the river and not the pollution by cyanide.

Adiki Ayitevie said Newmont Ghana Gold Limited has constructed a borehole and a dam for residents in the catchment area.

She claimed residents have not informed the company that their water bodies had been polluted by the operations of the company.

However, an Analytical Chemist of WACAM Samuel Obiri confirmed that dead fishes in River Subri is as a resulted of polluted water but not loss of oxygen.

Mr. Obiri explained that though WACAM was yet to do laboratory test on the water, one could tell from the smell of the water that it had been polluted with cyanide.

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