THE DEPUTY Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Bernice Adiku-Helloo, has asked a local investor who wanted to establish a quarry at Tsito-Awudome in the Ho West District, to stop further activity on site, for enough consultation with the chiefs and elders of Tsito.
Dr. Adiku-Helloo said she was compelled to stop the investor after the construction of a road to the quarry site, because the youth of Tsito and the chiefs claimed that the investor did not consult them and the owners of the land, as to whether the land would be released for the quarry project. According to them, the contractor allegedly dealt with a few people without the consent of the major stakeholders like the chiefs and youth.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Chronicle, Dr. Adiku-Helloo said a Town Hall meeting would be organised to ensure broader consultation with the relevant stakeholders to determine whether they had tangible reasons why the quarry project should not be established. The investor would also be part of the meeting for a better understanding of the issue.
The Deputy Minister made it clear that she would not take sides on the issue, but would work to ensure that there was an amicable resolution for either the contractor to continue with the work, or abandon it altogether.
Dr. Adiku-Helloo said she visited the quarry site and listened to some concerns raised by the Manklado of Tsito, Togbe Danku XIV, which gave her the impression that much consultation was not done before the investor wanted to start. The Mankrado of Tsito, who was at the site with the Minister, expressed concern over what he described as gross disrespect to the chiefs and people of Tsito.
According to him, the investor only contacted a few people, who introduced themselves as chiefs, without the investor making the necessary efforts to consult the chiefs, elders, and youth leaders. He commended the Deputy Minister for the visit and the decision taken to stop the investor from engaging in any quarry activity until further notice.
Togbe Danku said the area the investor wanted to establish the quarry had been designated as a tourism attraction site, as the community had identified caves and streams that could be developed into ecotourism. He was, therefore, surprised when the said investor claimed he had obtained a permit to mine quarry in the area.
The Manklado of Tsito stressed that the community was not in favour of the quarry project, because, apart from the area being earmarked for ecotourism, the site is the farmland of some members of the Tsito community, and allowing the investor to engage in such activity, would not only deny the people of their source of livelihood, but also worsen unemployment and hardship in the community.
Source: The Chronicle
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