Four communities in the Nsawam Adoagyiri Constituency in the Eastern Region are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Assembly to immediately halt the activities of stone quarry companies in the area.
According to the people, the activities of these stone quarry companies are impacting negatively on their health.
The four communities are Akrama, Afumkrom, Kojokuma or Asante Kwaku and part of Sekyikrom are badly affected by the blasting of the rocks which have caused cracks on over 500 homes with the most affected been the Akrama M/A Basic School.
Speaking to Republic Press, an opinion leader at Akrama and a teacher of Akrama M/A Basic School, Mr. Michael Ofori said many parents have refused to allow their children to come to school because of the dusty nature of the environment and the fact that heavy trucks ply the road for fear of any disaster.
Mr. Ofori said the community members on daily basis are greeted with the sound of the blasting of the rocks which have caused cracks in various homes resulting in collapsing of building under construction.
“If their activities are not stopped immediately, all the people in the area would have hearing problem because the noise and the sound of the blast alone in a week has the potential to cause serious hearing defect not to talk of the air pollution in the environment,” he stated
According to him, because of the health challenges the community faces on daily basis, the community members in 2020 embarked on a massive demonstration to demand the immediate relocation of these stone quarry companies but when a court action was instituted against these companies nothing came out of it.
He added that among some of the discussions the community members had on their last major meeting was how compensation are to be shared and paid to the local farmers whose farm lands and homes have been affected as a result of the mining activities in the area.
“When our lawyer contacted the quarry companies about the effect of their activities, we were told that they have a buffer zone of 500 meters and so if we feel that we are affected, we should map up our locations and present to their lawyer and ever since we did all these things, the two companies, CK Mines and E and H Mining Quarry declined to respond to our submissions,” he stated.
Mr. Ofori said the communities have written many letters to the Member of Parliament of the constituency, Mr. Frank Annor Dompreh and the Municipal Chief Executive but all to no avail.
The people say they bought their lands from the landowners and have genuine documents to back them contrarily to what these mining companies are saying that those areas are not for settlement.
“So, for the sake of our health and children, we are still negotiating with the companies and we are therefore appealing to the government, EPA and the national security to move swiftly to safe us from dying,” Mr. Ofori stated.
The resident nurse at the Akrama CHPS Compound, Mrs. Evelyn Assimah said the commonest illness normally reported at the facility has to do with chronic cough ascribing it to the dusty nature of the environment.