| NZEMA LANDS
FOR EQUITY, NOT FOR SALE
From Godfrey Nyamey, Half- Assini
The Chiefs and people of the Western Nzema Traditional area in
the Jomoro District have resolved not to sell any of their lands
to companies and individuals who may want to operate in the area
because of the oil find.
Speaking on behalf of the chiefs and people, Awulae Annor Adjaye
III, Omanhene of the area, said instead of the selling of the lands,
they would rather be used as equities in such companies to share
in their profits.
He was speaking at the Jubilee Field Phase One Development public
hearing at Half-Assini on Monday. The public hearing was organised
by the Western Regional Office of the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) to enlighten the people on the Environmental Impact Assessment
(EIA) document on the oil find.
Awulae Adjaye said the success or otherwise of the oil exploration
did not lie in the preparation of nice documents but effective monitoring
of the contents of the documents.
He said although EIA documents were prepared for the mining companies,
“the rivers are polluted and lands degraded to the disadvantage
of the people.” He therefore urged officials of EPA to ensure
that the companies complied with the rules.
Awulae Adjaye regretted that the EPA and Tullow Oil Company had
never invited the chiefs and people of Jomoro to the many fora they
had held in the region for stakeholders. He appealed to the media
to lend their support to marginalized communities whose living conditions
might be affected by the oil exploration.
Awulae Annor Adjaye, however, gave the assurance that the chiefs
and people of Jomoro would do everything possible to ensure that
the oil find becomes a “blessing and not a curse.”
The District Chief Executive for Jomoro, Victor Nyianyi Kablan,
called for proper demarcation and identification of the location
of the oil find since it is nearer Effasu in the Jomoro District
than Cape Three Points.
He therefore pointed out that the claim that the oil-find was at
West Cape Three Points was a “fallacy”.
He requested that the error be rectified without any further delay
to set the records straight. Mr. Kablan said a copy of the EIA document
was made available to the district assembly only a few days ago
for the hearing and therefore the assembly could not study it thoroughly.
However, he said, people in the district world ensure the peaceful
and successful exploitation of the oil.
The people called for the upgrading of the Half-Assini Police Station
to a district headquarters and resourced with more personnel and
logistics to be able to curb the crime wave that might emerge as
a result of influx of people to the area.
They also called for the provision of a Fire-Service Station as
well as to offer employment to the youth from the area. The people
requested that the oil companies site some of their activities in
the area instead of restricting them to Sekondi-Takoradi and Shama.
They also demanded that students in the area be offered scholarships.
Mr. Kofi Essuon, Governmental International Relation Manager of
Tullow Oil Company, addressed all the concerns of the people and
assured them that companies that would be operating in the area
would be made to comply with the dictates of the EIA document besides
fulfilling their social responsibilities to the people.
Source: The Ghanaian Times