According to the residents a Chinese woman known as Asia Huang is the lead operator working with some Ghanaian companions. A former Assembly Member for Bepotenten, Janet Addei-Gyimah, said six children have died as a result of falling into the abandoned pits in the last three years.
This has also caused some residents to relocate to nearby communities, abandoning their farm activities to prevent them from falling into the open gullies.
According to a former Assembly Member for Bepotenten, Janet Addei-Gyimah, six children have died as a result of falling into the abandoned pits in the last three years.
According to the Daily Graphic Newspaper, a Chinese woman known as Asia Huang is the lead operator working with some Ghanaians. Residents and opinion leaders in the two communities accused Huang of encroaching on their lands with support from some armed police and security personnel.
READ ALSO: Gov’t deploys troops to Obuasi mine
The residents narrated that they once seized some excavators and a Toyota pickup from Asia Huang but the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) in an official letter ordered the release of the items.
A copy of the letter which was seen by Daily Graphic, dated August 16, 2016, stated that “I have instructions from the Ashanti REGSEC to order the release of four excavators and one Toyota pickup seized and being kept at Finaso barrier in the Obuasi Municipality to the owner, Madam Asia Huang.” The letter was signed by the Regional Co-ordinating Director, Kofi Dwumor-Asubonteng.
Even though the residents accused the REGSEC of being bias the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Andy Osei Okrah, said they have no knowledge of the happenings in the mentioned communities, therefore making them illegal. He further said that the council will investigate the matter and strategise on the way forward.
The Odikro of Bepotenten, Opanin George Anane, who bemoaned the situation said the residents now have to walk for a long distance before they get access to portable water.
He also mentioned that the roads they constructed through communal labour had been destroyed by the heavy earth-moving equipment of the illegal miners. He added that they had appealed to the district and regional administrations but to no avail.