Bongo-Soe, Bongo-Feo communities lock horns over mining activity

A Chinese Mining Company, JT Kong Ghana Limited, operating in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region is driving a wedge between the Bongo-Soe and the Bongo-Feo communities in the district.

The chiefs, elders and the youth of the Bongo-Soe Community, at a news conference held in Bolgatanga on Friday, indicated that the document issued to the mining company bore the name of Bongo-Feo community and not the Bongo-Soe community where the prospecting activity is taking place.

According to them the company which started prospecting for gold in the area about two months ago was creating confusion between them and their neighbouring community, the Bongo-Feo.

They further indicated that they were not consulted with regards to given the land to any mining company for prospecting and potential mining activities in the area.

They further alleged that the Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Council, Bonaba Baba Salifu Atamale Lemyarrum, sent a delegation to them to inform them that the mining firm which was already operating had sought permission from the district assembly to do prospecting for gold and other minerals.

Naba Abinga Ayamga, the Chief of the Bongo-Soe community, indicated that at the time the delegation from the palace of the paramount chief came to him, the mining company had already started work on the land.

He said the activities of the JT Kong Ghana Limited had displaced farmers and owners of the land who were farming there, destroyed their sources of water for their animals, as well as their ancestry gods they worshipped.

The chief explained that most people depended on the land for livelihoods and were not ready to hand it over for any mining activity and said the situation when not checked could spark a war between the two communities who have co-existed peacefully for many years.

The chief of Bongo-Soe-Boko community, Naba Sebastian Anamlebna on his part, explained that the Chinese company had been threatening members of the community with gunshots and putting fear in them especially those who go around the area to do their farming activities.

The chief, a retired Warrant Officer, admonished the Minerals Commission and the government, to as matter of urgency revoke the license of the company and sack them from the place or risk dealing with security issues in the area.

“We are requesting for Minerals Commission to withdraw those Chinese, J T Kong from the land or else as a community, we will advise ourselves. When we say we will advise ourselves we know what to do. If government is not taking them out and the proper thing is not done to take them out, the community will begin to advise ourselves,” the chief stressed.

He called on the District Security Committee headed by the regional minister to ensure that the right thing was done before the situation escalated beyond control.

The members of the Bongo-Soe have since filed a case against the mining company at the Bolgatanga High Court which had earlier on granted an injunction asking the mining firm to halt work for the issue to be resolved.

A group picture of members of the Bongo-Soe community after the press conference in Bolgatanga

From Samuel Akapule, Bolgatanga

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