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Songhor Salt Mining: Ada Traditional Council takes battle with Electrochem to Parliament

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Traditional and community leaders of Ada have taken their battle against Electrochem Ghana Limited (EGL) to Parliament.

This follows years of dispute between the residents and the company, following the leasing of the entire 41,000 acres of the Songhor Lagoon to Electrochem Ghana Limited (ELG), owned by Daniel McKorley.

The development has led to clashes between community members and the security operatives of Electrochem, resulting in the death of some residents.

Offering testimony to a joint committee in Parliament, the Ada Terkerbiawe Divisional Queenmother, Naa Korleiki Korley I and Abraham Tetteh Karim, spokesperson for the Ada Songhor Lagoon Association stressed that the company has displaced a number of indigenes.

According to them, Electrochem has also taken over their lands including cemeteries.

“When you look at the 41,000 acres that we are talking about, some of our villages, our farms, and even our cemeteries fall within the 41,000 acres of land and because you have rectified all 41,000 to Electrochem, Electrochem has taken possession of all our villages.

“Therefore whoever is living within that space becomes a trespasser and that is why we are suffering the brutalities and the beatings,” they stressed.

On his part, the Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee, John Abdulai Jinapor assured the community leaders of Parliament’s readiness to get their grievances addressed.

He explained that, “wherever there is mineral, there is bound to be contention. We just have to find a way of dealing with it.”

“Fortunately, nobody is against Electrochem’s operation. The only concern is how we can make this a win-win situation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Electrochem, the company at the heart of this dispute is denying displacing the indigenous people of Ada Songhor basin.

Background

In November 2020, the government of Ghana leased the lagoon to the private company, EGL. The company, in its work plan, said it will produce over a million metric tons of salt per annum mainly for the export market. Its ambition is to make the Songhor salt mine the largest in Africa.

“And we are set to make a remarkable contribution to the Ada community in terms of job creation and social impact,” the company said.

But residents insist the takeover had been their worst nightmare as they have lost their livelihoods and are unable to cater to the basic needs of their families.

 

Source: Myjoyonline

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