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Participants at the community level meeting

Mining Communities cry over incessant snake attacks

Mining-affected Communities in the Newmont Ahafo south project area, particularly Damso and its surrounding villages are seriously lamenting the several attacks by pythons.

Members of the affected communities are alleging that Newmont’s Water Storage Facility (WSF) which is situated in the area is serving as a breeding pond for pythons attacking residents and killing their domestic animals.

 According to the residents, just recently, a huge python went into one of the houses to attack a sheep and with the help of neighboring villages, they got it killed. They indicate that the pythons are causing fear and panic in the area while making life uncomfortable for them. They claim they cannot leave their children at home when going to the farm or traveling. They have to come home early whenever they go to a farm to meet the children from school.

Yakubu Issah, a resident whose sheep and goats were attacked by the Pythons said five huge pythons have been killed in the last one and half months, while several others escaped.    

Aside from the python attacks, the communities have expressed several concerns including strange mosquito invasion, skin diseases, unbearable noise pollution during the night, Buruli ulcers, and regular drowning of people in the water dam (WSF).

Public Agenda could not independently verify from experts whether the claim for strange diseases or snake invasions among others is a result of the siting of the WSF.    

According to them several complaints about the situation have been made to Newmont, regional and national offices of the  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Traditional Authorities in the area, the Ahafo Regional Minister, the Asutifi North District Chief Executive, and many other relevant institutions and organizations.

On Tuesday 13th September 2022, the Damso community and its surrounding villages invited the Livelihood and Environment Ghana (LEG) on the ticket of Peoples Voice Project (PVP) to one of their community level meetings and complained about the same issues and threatened to go on demonstration soon if nothing is done about the situation.  

The communities are thus calling on all stakeholders including civil society and the media to help salvage the situation.

Livelihood and Environment Ghana (LEG) is a Non -Governmental Organization promoting environmental Justice, community rights, and sustainable livelihoods.

Source : Publicagendagh.com

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