Rainstorm displaces 850 people in Bawku

Rainstorm has hit some parts of Bawku and its environs displacing about 850 people and destroying homes and other public property estimated to cost about Gh¢500,000.

The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), in the Bawku Municipality attributed the huge destruction of public structures, especially educational institutions to shoddy work executed by government hired contractors.

Numerous basic educational institutions and health facilities were ripped up, while some classrooms of the Bawku senior high and Bawku Technical schools were also affected.

Besides, about 350 homes were destroyed in the Bawku town, while property including shops, market sheds, garages, cars, among others were affected.

Mr Sulemana Musah, Deputy Chief Disaster Control Officer in charge of the Bawku Municipal office of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) confirmed the ripping up of the roofs of the numerous basic educational institutions and health facilities and the destruction of some classrooms of the Bawku Senior High and the Bawku Secondary/ Technical Schools.

He attributed the damage to the public institutions to shoddy work by contractors and said on April 2, about 52 rooms and 300 people in the Baribari community were affected by the storm, while on April 30 of the same month, houses in communities including Jantiga, Kpweliwiaga, Sabone-Gari, South and North Natinga, Sabone-Zongo, Hausa –Zongo and Gingande had their share of the disasters.

The Bawkzua, Patilmey, Pussom, and the Daduri communities, were severely affected rendering most of the people homeless.

Mr Musah lamented that most of the trees that supported the houses against storms fell on houses destroying them and other property.

He said even though the situation was worrying, no death and casualties were recorded in the municipality and its environs from the storm.

Mr Musah said NADMO was collaborating with the Bawku Municipal Assembly to secure roofing sheets, nails, plywood, cements, mattresses, buckets, and blankets to help the affected victims.

The NADMO officer called on the people to take safety precautions by contracting qualified artisans to build their houses to avoid reoccurring disasters.

He said some of the private facilities affected used inferior building materials without any professional supervision and the public to go in for quality materials and engage professionals to help them with all types of construction business they undertake.

Alhaji Inusah Abubakar, Bawku Municipal Coordinating Director, expressed worry about the extent of the destruction in the area and said steps were being taken to avert similar disasters in future.

Alhaji Abubakar noted that government was committed to ensuring the safety of residence in the Bawku area and urged the people to support the effort by ensuring that their activities led to a disaster free environment.

He called on the residents to plant trees around their homes as the area was located within a sub-desert reach.

 

Source: Ghana Business News

Gov’t suspends Chinese mining firm’s operations in Talensi

By: Fredrick Awuni, citifmonline.com

The government has temporarily suspended the operations of Shaanxi Ghana Mining Company Limited operating in Gbane in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.

According to a letter signed by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, the suspension is to allow for thorough investigations into the company’s underground operations, and the alleged death of about seven miners in the area.

As a result, 500 permanent workers of the company have been asked to go home until further notice, while 52 workers are currently ensuring care and maintenance of the company’s mining shafts.

Speaking to Citi News in Gbane, the frustrated employees described the decision by the sector minister as unfair, cautioning the joblessness may led to social vices in the area.

An employee, Elizabeth Yinnama, said, “we are  appealing to government to come to our aid, if not when we will go back to our various homes, and we may turn to armed robbery because going home, I don’t think I can survive because I don’t have anything to do; but the Galamsey workers are not helping anyone in this community.”

Miss Salina Amaze, a geologist also sided with the employees, saying “workers of Shaanxi cannot allow Galamsey intruders to let government close down the company, it will affect me and my colleagues.”

But at a press conference in Gbane, Shaanxi mining company’s Underground Mine Manager, Thomas Tii Yenzanya, said even though they have complied with the minister’s directive, efforts should be put in place to protect their shafts  from being exploited by the Galamsey miners pending the outcome of the investigations.

Mr. Yenzanya said all mining operations of the company have been suspended except for care and maintenance works.

“There will be loss of production, there will be more intrusion into the area by the illegal miners because they will be mining underground chopping the pillars, stealing the gold ore and probably destroying our equipment but it’s a directive.”

Shaanxi Mining Company Reacts to Allegations

Citi News can confirm that, the Yenyeya and Pubortaaba small scale mining groups for which Shaanxi mining company is rendering support mining services to, were licensed on the 7th January 2007 and 9th October 2009 respectively by the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals commission of Ghana.

Underground Mine Manager of Shaanxi mining company, Mr. Yenzanya provided documentation for the payments of employees’ SSNIT up to April, 2017.

He indicated that, the company has fulfilled its tax and royalties obligation since its operations with enormous corporate social responsibility projects ranging from boreholes, schools, bridges and scholarships for needy but brilliant students in the area.

Mr. Yenzanga denied allegations that, the company’s blasting takes place unannounced, adding that, blasting time is between 10:00 pm to 12:00 am. He also added that, workers were sacked following due processes.

Meanwhile, investigations have commenced into the circumstances that led to the deaths of about seven illegal miners who were reported to have been trapped by smoke from one of the Shaanxi mining shafts on the 7th of April 2017.

 

Source: modernghana.com