Some residents of Weija-Gbawe Municipality want cement factory opened

Some residents in the Weija-Gbawe Municipality have kicked against the legal action taken by the McCarthy Hills Residents’ Association to restrain Empire Cement Factory (ECF) from starting its operations.

Consequently, they have appealed to the government to expeditiously ensure the inauguration of the factory so that it could commence with its operations and provide employment for the teeming mass of unemployed youth in the area.

Addressing a news conference at Weija in Accra over the weekend, the acting Dzasetse of Gbawe,   Nii Laryea Quartey said the ECF had invested over $35 million to construct the factory over a period of two years and did not fathom why the authorities would sit down unconcerned till now.

He said the factory during its construction employed in excess of 500 youth in various fields and who earned good money.

Apart from that, Nii Quartey said the ECF was earmarked to create In excess of 10,000 Direct and indirect jobs in various sectors of the local economy.

This he said included Accountants Officers, Administrative support staff, Marketing and Distribution Officers, Maintenance personnel, Laboratory scientists, Haulage drivers and packers.

“It Is very critical and worthy to note that the over USD 35 million invested in the ECF factory, was actually a loan from the Chinese government to the Chinese owners of ECF with a Ghanaian partner who Is the Chief of Gomoa Desum, in the person of Nana Obokomatta, who has not been involved in any untoward act in the country as well as his Chinese partners, some of whom have been conducting business in the Country for over a decade and have never been linked to the ‘galamsey’ challenge,” he emphasised.

He said the long standing good relations between Ghana and China, which spanned over 50 years, for which Ghana had benefitted immensely could not be sacrificed with the calls for the factory to be pulled down.

Touching on the issue of the factory and its impact on the environment,  the President of the Cumulative Residents Association of South West McCarthy,  Mr Kwaku Danso said the ECF in its 600 page Environmental Impact Study (EIS) report, submitted to the  Ministerial committee of inquiry and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had detailed and defined the modern construction methods used in the construction of the factory which would not permit escape of dust particles that shall emit from the bagging.

In addition, he said there were modern equipment such as water sprinklers on the walls bounded with Pambros Salt works, which would be activated during bagging and production, to trap the dust particles that would escape from the production area into the atmosphere.

Mr Danso described the comments of the McCarthy Hills Residents’ Association as prejudicial and unnecessary, stressing that “We as ECF with support of the Chiefs and Elders of the Municipality here gathered, Residents Associations in the municipality and in direct line with the ECF factory, youth and businesses in the communities in proximity to ECF, humbly appeal to the President and his government, including our Member of Parliament, Municipal Chief Executive, to expeditiously ensure the commissioning of the ECF factory.”


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