Seven Seas Salt Mining Company (formerly Kensington Industries Ltd) operating at Adina in the Ketu South Municipality would on Tuesday, pay the community and other satellite communities affected by its operations.
Mr Elliot Edem Agbenorwu, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Ketu South, who disclosed this said the compensation would go to communities which make up the Company's Adina Concession (currently developed) including; Adina, Amutinu, Salakakope, Agbevekope and Kpedzakope.
He said it would also cover the Company's yet-to-be developed Agavedzi-Blekusu Concession comprising Agavedzi, Blekusu, Dogbekope, Sonuto, Taskcorner and Tsavanya; and a new concession, White D'Or (formerly granted to White D'Or Company) comprising Hedzranawo, Adafienu, Tetekope and Agorko.
In a meeting with key stakeholders such as chiefs and political party executives, Mr Agbenorwu said the Assembly in a bid to finding a lasting solution to the impasse between the indigenes and the salt mining Company, engaged relevant players including; the Minerals Commission leading to among others, the decision for the Company to pay the compensation and hoped "this will end the agitations."
Indigenes of the salt mining concessions particularly, Adina, had embarked on demonstrations in 2015, 2016 and 2017, which led to one death, several injured and destruction of property over activities of the Company, which residents of the fishing-dependent community said were robbing them of their livelihood and polluting fresh water sources.
They accused Seven Seas of drawing underground water contrary to the agreements, for its operations causing the section of the Keta Lagoon, from which they fish and mine salt to dry up, making coconut trees along the lagoon to wither, thus affecting their livelihoods.
Mr Agbenorwu said complaints of the residents were carefully looked into noting, a consultant was engaged to carry out the valuation of the lands for the right compensation to bring finality to disturbances in the affected areas.
"The compensation will be paid to each community based on the acres of land. We agreed on community compensation because it is difficult identifying individuals and households who fish and mine salt at these places as this resource is open to everyone in the affected communities. One representative each from chiefs, assembly members and women groups will be signatories to the account in every community.
Usage of the compensation is key to me and the Assembly. It is money for loss of livelihood and so it's important it is put to good use to benefit the community. As a control measure, it was decided that the Assembly continues to write to the banks to authorise activities on the accounts.
"Provision of potable water to affected community has long been resolved. On the agreements, the Company has developed local concessions of 300 metres at the edges to provide an alternative livelihood for the residents, while work is currently ongoing (about 60 per cent complete) at Agorko to enable Seven Seas to draw water from the sea for their production," the MCE assured.