Ghana’s Labour Department is set to trigger off a process next week to secure compensation for a mineworker and two nurses who lost parts of their bodies in the Upper East Region through accidents linked to Earl International Group Ghana Gold Limited.

The mining yard of Earl International Group in Talensi.

The plight of the victims, who were allegedly abandoned after the accidents by the mining company previously known as Shaanxi Mining Company Limited, came to the department’s notice after Media Without Borders‘ Edward Adeti brought their conditions to public attention in a series of reports.  

And when Simon Agana, host of Word FM’s breakfast show, tabled the reports for further discussions on the Zuarungu-based private broadcaster, the Labour Department traced the contacts of the victims through the radio station to Media Without Borders.

Simon Agana in the studios of Word FM, Zuarungu/Bolgatanga East District.

Speaking to Media Without Borders on Saturday, the acting Upper East Regional Labour Officer, Salifu Abdulai, said the department would stop at nothing to secure appropriate compensation from the company for all victims of accidents associated with the mining firm.

Godfred Nabil Nongbezina, an employee of the Chinese firm, had his right arm caught in a conveyor belt while he was at work on Wednesday, 17 May 2023.

Godfred Nabil Nongbezina

He was initially rushed to the Ultima Platz Hospital in the Upper East Region and ambulanced about twenty-four hours later to the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) in the Northern Region where the affected arm was amputated in the same month.

“I was asked to go and do maintenance. That day, there wasn’t anyone around there. When I got there, the rolling belt (a mining conveyor belt) was having a fault. There were a lot of stones inside the belt. I was trying to remove the stones inside the belt. I was aware that when it happens like that, you have to wash it (the belt) with water. But there wasn’t water around.

Nongbezina was first rushed here in the Bolgatanga East District before he was referred to the TTH.

“The water that was underground there, I was managing with that water to wash the belt. Later, I turned to pick something. When I turned and was trying to move to the other side, I don’t know what happened, my hand got inside the belt. I was lying there. I was there [for] almost thirty minutes,” the 24-year-old had told Media Without Borders on Thursday, 13 July 2023.

Nongbezina’s relations said the management of the Chinese company did not bother to visit him after his arm was amputated.

Shaanxi will never go free from paying compensation— Labour Department

Thomas Agombire, a nurse with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), had his right leg surgically removed from the thigh level at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital after a Shaanxi-owned Toyota Land Cruiser with registration number WX 8888-18 rammed into him.

The incident occured on the main road between Bolgatanga and Bawku on Wednesday, 21 August 2019.

Thomas Agombire on his way to his workplace, Tindonsobligo CHPS compound in Bolgatanga.

Agombire complained similarly that the Chinese company and the GHS abandoned him after the crash.

“Sitting in the house was not easy for me. Loneliness was killing me slowly. I called the Talensi District Director of Health to transfer me to my hometown (Tindonsobligo).  

“The neglect alone made me feel I didn’t deserve to live. If I hadn’t come home, I would have committed suicide,” Agombire had told Media Without Borders after his leg was amputated.

Another nurse, Gloria Atimbila, was sitting behind Agombire on a motorbike when the crash happened.

She was seriously injured, too. Her right eye and the bones in her right hand were affected by the crash.

She went for surgeries in 2020 and 2021 at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

The surgical procedures were financed with a loan she took out from a bank in Kumasi, the Ashanti Region’s capital.

Atimbila went for surgeries at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra in 2020 and 2021.

“They (the bank) is still deducting the loan from my salaries,” she told Media Without Borders on Saturday.

She currently works at government-run Duusi Health Centre in Talensi.

Gloria Atimbila.

The company’s public relations officer, Ebenezer Bognaab, did not respond to calls placed to him for comments by Media Without Borders before the reports were published in series in August, 2023.

He also did not reply to messages sent to him via WhatsApp. It has become Bognaab’s practice to ignore calls and messages for answers on accidents that happen to workers inside the company’s yard.

Ebenezer Bognaab.

The public relations officer is beginning to earn a different title for himself in the public circle as a ‘public relay officer’ for habitually ‘running’ away (as in a relay race) in a bid to dodge questions from the press on accidents happening to workers at the company’s mining site in the Talensi District.

“We are going to give them compensation forms to be taken to the company. The company will process the forms and bring them to us. We compute the amount of compensation. The company will never go free from paying compensation for work-related injuries. They will pay the compensation.

Inside the yard of Earl International Group in Talensi.

“Section 120 of the Ghana Labour Act says if you sustain injury during the course of your work, the employer should report to the nearest, appropriate government agency. Among the agencies is the Labour Department that processes workman compensation for the injured person,” said the acting regional labour officer.

He stated further: “And if the employer fails to do that, the injured workman should walk to the Labour Department and report. Once that is done, the department takes it up, investigates and processes compensation for the person. We are doing that for uncountable cases.”

The department is currently in talks with entities close to the victims ahead of the next line of action next week.

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/



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