THE Klo-Begoro Farmers Association has expressed worry over the delay in the payment of compensation to them for crops destroyed by a company mining limestone in the area.
The farmers have, therefore, petitioned Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the Eastern Regional Minister, to have the situation addressed.
A petition signed by Mr Moses K. Kudji, the Chairman of the association, Mr Okrah M. Amanor, the Secretary, and Mr Akufo Narh, a member, said the undue delay in the payment of compensation to them by A.J. FANJ Construction, the company engaged in the mining of limestone, was having a negative effect on them and their families.
“We live in a relatively hilly area, with most of the land infertile. We are, however, lucky to have a very broad flat-bottomed fertile valley we have over the years been cultivating for our survival,” it said.
It said with the discovery of limestone in the area, the company started mining the mineral about five years ago without any proper laid down community enhancement programmes.
It said the company removed the vegetation cover and directed all the large volumes of drainage water from the mines towards the direction of their farms.
“Anytime it rains heavily, run-off from the quarry site flows downstream to flood our farms and this leads to the destruction of all the crops on the land where we have been farming from time immemorial,” the petition said.
It said on May 24, last year, during the major farming season, all the crops they planted were flooded as a result of the drains from the quarry and the incident was reported to officials of the company but they failed to respond.
It said they contracted a legal advisor to help them pursue the matter and the company agreed to meet them for the necessary negotiations.
It said at the first meeting on the matter on September 18, 2009, the company proposed a compensation amount which was less than the cost involved in farming an acre of land.
The petition said many of the farmers could not pay back the loans they had contracted from banks, since all the crops were destroyed by the activities of the construction company.
It, therefore, appealed to the regional minister to intervene and compel the company to pay them compensation for the crops destroyed in the 2009 major and minor farming seasons, as well as the 2010 major season, within the shortest possible time. — GNA