Residents of Viepe-Tokor Electoral Area in Ketu South in the Volta Region are demanding Seven Seas Salt Limited, a mining company in the area, to stop construction of dykes for its operations.
This followed the drowning of Madam Yawa Apenu, 41, with her two children aged 14 and 10 and a third child aged eight, who lived with the family, on Saturday when they fell into a pit dug in the Keta Lagoon at Laklevikope, while they attempted to fish.
Saturday’s drowning was the third such incident to occur in the electoral area, claiming six lives in a spate of two months.
Mr Victor Ayaku, Assembly member for the area, during a visit to scene said these “killer dykes must stop” doubting if the company had legal possession of his electoral area.
Currently, the company has in its possession three concessions located in the Municipality, which include Adina Concession (currently developed) comprising Adina, Amutinu, Salakakope, Agbevekope and Kpedzakope; Agavedzi-Blekusu Concession (Agavedzi, Blekusu, Dogbekope, Sonuto, Taskcorner and Tsavanya) and White D’Or Concession (Hedzranawo, Adafienu, Tetekope and Agorko) legally acquired from the Ghana Minerals Commission.
“We’re planning a protest next week to get the company to stop these killer dykes. Our people are dying. Seven Seas has concessions in the Adina-Adafienu areas. They should close the dykes and concentrate on that and leave these new areas they’re extending their operations to for community members to have access to the lagoon to fish,” MrAyaku said.
Mr John Jones Kuwornu, resident of Laklevikope said happenings along the stretch of the lagoon were shocking and something urgent needed to be done to stop the loss of lives.
Mr Adams Mensah, Public Relations Officer, Seven Seas Salt Limited, explained construction works on the dykes stalled because of the rains and that completed dykes would not have posed any danger as pits created during construction would have been sealed.
“Human lives have been lost and we need to find how best to avoid a recurrence. We have signposts constructed which we’re mounting on our concessions to warn people of danger zones.
“But even that, people need education on how to be safe when they go fishing because though we don’t have pits dug outside our concessions, it is possible residents managed to influence those we contracted for the dykes to do so to allow them to fish during dry seasons.
“Right now, our priority is to provide financial support to the bereaved family, give the necessary support to the widower because he may be going through a lot having lost his wife and children,” he said.
Meanwhile, a release by Ketu Youth in Development Network on Tuesday and signed by Mr Elolo White Kelie, the Executive Director, expressed concern about the lives being lost as a result of operations of the mining company and called on stakeholders to “act with conscience to put an end to these unfortunate events.” -GNA