The resistance by the salt miners follows the Ada East District Assembly’s issuance of a final warning to communities around the Songor Lagoon, notifying them to vacate Electrochem’s concession to allow the company to start its operations on January 3, 2024.
The Assembly has, therefore, given the salt miners until today, December 31, 2023, to finally vacate the concession.
According to the Assembly, the Ada East portion of the Songor Lagoon concession was released by the Minerals Commission on October 29, 2020, for a restricted mining lease of salt for 15 years, and was subsequently ratified by Parliament.
“The District Assembly has received official notice from the company of its intention to start operations in the District on the 3rd of January 2024. To this end, you are hereby informed to vacate from the land with all your machines to allow the company to start its operations. You are on this note given up to 31st December 2023, to finally leave the concession.”
However, Electrochem is facing fierce resistance, as residents have vowed to defy the letter issued by the Assembly until the necessary compensation is paid to affected salt miners and residents.
In an interview with citinewsroom.com, the Public Relations Officer and Organiser of Ada Songor Lagoon Association (ASLA), Abraham Ahumah, said the community will gather at the concession tomorrow to prevent any possible eviction.
“The license they gave to the company has covered 41,000 acres of land; some of our villages are within the concession. If they go ahead with their operations, it will bring disaster. We have taken salt mining as our entrepreneurial job. We have decided to resist any move by them today; tomorrow we will be on the land; all the village people will be there.”
“We don’t have any place to carry our houses or shops, and so we will remain on the land; we will continue to do our salt business. We have no place to go; we are not packing our things anywhere. We are totally rejecting what the district assembly has done. They should pay fair and reasonable compensation to affected residents; that is what the rules stipulate,” he stated.
He called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), George Akuffo Dampare, to ensure total peace in the area to avert any fatalities.
“IGP, National Security should ensure they bring police to ensure peace and security to Ada; we have informed them that we will not allow any more killings,” he said.
Owners of Electrochem Ghana Limited and residents of Ada on Monday, November 6, 2023, engaged in an argument which resulted in a shooting incident in Sege in the Greater Accra Region, leaving one person dead and several others injured.
The company has announced its intention to establish a community salt mine for local miners in Ada East District before commencing its commercial salt mining operations.