Hundreds of citizens of Ketu South have taken to the streets to protest operations of Seven Seas Salt Company, a salt mining firm in the area, for the threat to their lives and livelihood.
The protest Tuesday dubbed “Mie kukum” (We are dying) took place few days after the drowning of a mother and her three children in a pit dug in the lagoon at Laklevikope, the third of such incidents in the Viepe-Tokor Electoral Area, which claimed six lives in two months.
Residents alleged the pits were as a result of the uncompleted dykes being constructed in the lagoon by the company, Seven Seas Salt Limited, a claim it denied.
The company said it was possible individuals also had pits dug for them to allow them to fish during the dry season.
Among inscriptions on placards the protesters carried read, “The blood of the lost souls shall be on your heads, wicked leaders”, We are shocked our leaders are supporting an Indian against we the citizens,” “Wetlands are not for any family,” Seven Seas, produce your approval letter covering the expansion of your operations.”
The protest, which took off separately from Akame and Denu Lorry Stations, ended at the Ketu South Municipal Assembly, Tokor, where a petition was read and presented to the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) to be forwarded to the Regional Minister and the President for action.
Mr Sylvester Kumawu, the Assembly Member for Amutinu-Salakope, who read the petition jointly signed by six Assembly members, said the Indian-owned company had expanded its operations beyond its concession area, thus operating illegally, which was threatening the lives and livelihood of people in the affected communities.
The petition said per the investigations and correspondences received from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ketu South Municipal Assembly and the Municipal National Disaster Management Organisation, the company had license to “operate only within Adina” and not expand to other areas of the Municipality thus, demanded from the authorities to act to ensure an end to the illegalities.
“The company should halt the expansion of its activities into Adafienu, Hedzranawo, Akame, and Denu electoral areas with immediate effect and focus on its concession at Adina.
“The Company should as a matter of urgency, remove all ridges created and close the deep killer trenches created in the process.”
Mr Maxwell Koffie Lugudor, the MCE for Ketu South, receiving the petition, promised to do his best to address the people’s concern.
“What is happening shows we’re strongly united people. This protest will not be in vain, and I will not disappoint you. I will forward this petition and the right thing will be done.”