Akanteng-Osenase residents send SOS to gov
Story from Isaac Akwetey-Okunor
The ancient community, with an over 6,000 population, appears to have been neglected by present and previous governments, as the residents, particularly the chiefs and elders of the place, throw up their hands in despair.
Some selected media houses were conducted around the community last Thursday by the chiefs and elders to have firsthand information about how the government had neglected the place.
A press conference proceeded shortly after the tour, where the leadership of the community itemised the challenges facing the area, and how they wanted the government to tackle the situation.
Addressing the media, Mr. P.T Amponsah, Assembly Member of the area, on behalf of the chief, Baffour Kofi Anim II, said despite the peaceful and law-abiding nature of the residents, coupled with their contributions towards national development, the government had still overlooked their development.
He explained that the people had not been given value for the immense contributions they had offered to the development of the nation, via coca production, yet, still do not have anything to point fingers at.
They have called on the government, district assembly, corporate organisations and individuals to come to the aid of the community.
Highlighting some of the challenges, the Akanteng Assembly Member mentioned that the area was gradually becoming a no go place, following the activities of illegal miners.
He explained that as a result of the illegal mining activities, many dangerous holes dug at different locations of the area had been left unattended and uncovered by these unscrupulous people.
“Such open pits serve as the breeding grounds for mosquitoes, leading to malaria outbreaks in the area, which affect the productive lives of the farmers,” Mr. Amponsah mentioned.
As if the malaria outbreak was just the tip of the iceberg, the pits have claimed about 14 lives in the last four years, as innocent persons trip and fall into the pits, which are filled with water and mud.
Mr. Amponsah reiterated that officials of National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) of the West Akyem Municipality attempted to cover the pits in order to pave the way for an oil palm plantation, and even develop them into fish ponds, which had led to extortion of monies.
The member of the assembly said NADMO officials collected various sums of money from the miners after the traditional area had made a frantic appeal to the assembly to help cover the pits.
The unsuccessful attempt to cover the pits, coupled with the lackadaisical attitude demonstrated by the Assembly and the government to bring the illegal mining under control, had polluted the sources of drinking water for the people.
“The main source of water supply to the community is now heavily polluted. The streams which served the town with water are almost dead, because of the gold mining,” the Assembly Member bemoaned.
The efforts of the community to solve the problems through the construction of boreholes and wells have not yielded any results, due to financial constraints.
On the area of education, Mr. Amponsah stated: “Education is the lifeline of any community, which the people of Akanteng are presently grappling with.”
He hinted that no government, since the inception of the community, had helped put up a school block, adding that every school in the area was put by the community through communal labour and levies.
He disclosed that the only three school buildings in the community, including the Mataheko Local Authority Primary, Methodist Junior High School and Catholic Primary, cannot fit any description.
The roads linking the community need improvement, while sanitation was another issue of concern.
The chiefs and people of the area have given the government a one month ultimatum to, at least, sink about 10 boreholes to help solve the water problem, as it looks at the other challenges, else they would advise themselves.
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