Assembly members in Talensi, a local government area in Ghana’s Upper East Region, have announced plans to lead a demonstration against Chinese state-backed Earl International Group Ghana Gold Limited on Tuesday, 18 July 2023.
A notification letter dispatched to the Ghana Police Service says “about 1,000 people drawn from all communities across the district are expected to take part in the demonstration.”
“The demonstrators are expected to converge at the St. Anthony School Park at Gbani near Earl International Mining Co. Ltd at 6:00 am.
“We will start our demonstration from the school park and end at the main entrance of the company where a petition will be read out to the media and the general public and later presented to the Hon. District Chief Executive for Talensi District,” the letter reads in part.
The Talensi District Assembly’s Presiding Member, John Millim Nabwomya, confirmed to Media Without Borders on Monday that the demonstration would come off Tuesday as scheduled.
The letter is silent on the purpose of the demonstration. But sources say the district’s poor road network is among key concerns the protesters will bring to the attention of the world.
Some of the roads in the district are so terrible their potholes can rival swimming pools in measurements. And a number of culverts which were assembled for road crossing in the district are broken apart from the top, looking just like abandoned caves sealed with rusty iron rods left behind.
A Minerals Commission report revealed in 2019 that the Chinese company, hitherto known as Shaanxi Mining Company Limited, produced “as much as 90% of all gold ore in the Upper East Region”.
Millions in gold are being taken away from the district by the foreign company while the district remains extremely deprived in terms of infrastructure.
The roads that are tarred in the district are not more than three. The first road, constructed by government years ago, starts from the Winkogo Junction (near the Bolgatanga Senior High School) and ends around the St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish in the district’s capital, Tongo.
The second road joins the Winkogo-Tongo Road and ends at Tengzug. It was tarred during the tenure of Hawa Yakubu as Minister for Tourism to ease access to the Tongo Hills after the cultural site was nominated for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The third road stretches from Pwalugu, a community in the west of the district, to Arigu in the next-door North East Region.
Below is a copy of the notification letter:
Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/mwbponline.org