Despite the huge royalties and compensation paid to the Asutifi North District Assembly by Newmont Ahafo Mine for the past ten (10) years, the Assembly has failed to complete the construction of a decent market place for the people at district capital, Kenyasi.
The market project, which was started in 2012 with funding from a compensation of GH¢3.15 million being paid by Newmont after a cyanide spillage has still not been completed.
Due to the unavailability of a decent market center, the District Assembly premises has been turned into the main market center for traders within the district, particularly on Thursdays.
Aside its unpleasant scene it has become a great nuisance to staff of the various departments at the Assembly, who have to contend with the noise and the human traffic created by patrons of the market.
Staff of the Assembly has been complaining consistently but to no avail, however, officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Petroleum, and Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) and other participants at a community forum to disseminate 2014 mining sector report at the Assembly’s Hall in Kenyasi described the scene as an eyesore and a total disgrace to the administration.
There was a heated argument between the community members and the officials of the District Assembly at the said forum over the utilization of the Royalties and Compensation from the mining company.
While the Assembly officials argued that they have judiciously utilized the Royalties to provide developmental projects in some communities, the community members in the other hand insisted that the Assembly have failed woefully when it comes to utilization of the proceeds from the Mining Company.
In a chat with some of the traders, they said the waterlogged nature of the current market place makes trading activities unfavorable when it rains, thereby affecting their incomes or sales.
Chiefs and people within the District have consistently complained about the delay in the completion of the market project for Kenyasi the District capital which is being funded with the compensation paid by Newmont Ahafo Mine after a cyanide spillage incident.
An amount of GH¢3.15 million meant to compensate communities affected by the cyanide spillage into the Yaakye stream that served as a source of drinking water was released since 2012.
The Asutifi North Assembly and traditional authorities of the affected towns – Kenyasi No. 1 & 2 and Ntotrosoin in the Brong Ahafo Region for over two years litigated over the type of project to use the money for.
The community members wanted the money to be used to upgrade a Health Centre at Kenyasi No. 1 to the status of a district hospital, while the Assembly proposed the construction of a market center and a lorry park.
The decision by the District Assembly to use the money for a market and a lorry park was kicked against by the people because they think the hospital will serve them far better than a market and a lorry station.
Their argument was that the existing market centers in the district have become white elephants, therefore, it was pointless to build an additional one.
The District Assembly led by the District Chief Executive Eric Addae insisted on the market center and commenced its construction, which has since not been competed to the dissatisfaction of the chiefs and people of the District.
The use of the Assembly premises for marketing activities has never been welcoming news to the chiefs and people of Kenyasi No.1 and 2, because according to them it is the official seat of government meant purposely for administrative purposes which demands a serene atmosphere for effective administrative work.
Source: The Chronicle
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