It would be recalled that on the 27th September, 2022 the people of Ketu South staged a peaceful demonstration to demand the closure of the operations of the Seven Seas Salt Company within the Adafienu wetlands where the company allegedly dug “death trap” trenches code named “killer dykes” by the demonstrators. They also claimed 16 precious lives who were drowned in such unapproved concessions within Adafienu and its environs.
Seven people out of the total number paid their death penalty through drowning in the “death trap” trenches ponds/dykes within the “unapproved” concession of Adafienu and its environs during the reign of Hon. Maxwell Lugudor as the Municipal Chief Executive, between March and December, 2022. They are :
- Atsu Drafor , drowned on the 27th May, 2022
- Kodzo Haligah, drowned on the 15th July, 2022
- Yawa Apenu Amewu, drowned on 17th September, 2022
- Bridget Amewu, drowned on 17th September, 2022
- Daddy Amewu, drowned 17th September, 2022
- Sitsofe Ahiawa, drowned on the 17th September, 2022
- Atsufui Amede , drowned on 7th December, 2022
These tragedies have generated controversies ranging from lamentations, accusations, allegations of bribery and corruption and counter allegations between major stakeholders and the populace on the airwaves of Fafaa 100.3 FM, Dzodze. This necessitated an independent investigation by Fafaa 100.3 FM and its associate NGO dubbed, the Duamenefa Foundation.
The three-month investigations led to revelations of the facts from the Minister of State in Charge of Environment Science Technology and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie who was responding to questions filed by Hon. Dzudzorli Gakpey MP for Keta Constituency. The minister of state confirmed that “even though the company have applied for permit, an environmental permit has not been granted to operate in its proposed Adafienu concession”.
In another development, Hon. Abla Dzifa Gomashie, MP for Ketu South Municipality also filed a question to the Minister of Mines and Natural Resources for clarification on the new expansions of the Seven Seas Company within Adafienu and its environs. In response, Hon. Mireku Duker, was stated as saying, “apart from the initial concessions granted at Adina, Agavedzi and Blekusu, Adafienu and its environs is not yet approved”.
This led to an expository documentary released by Fafaa 100.3 FM to set the records straight and to hold duty-bearers accountable to the people whose lives are being lost within the unapproved concessions. Even though the documentary was forwarded to the MCE Hon. Lugudor, and the Regional Minister, Hon. Dr. Achibald Yao Letsa on the 29th November, 2022, for their response and clarifications, both duty-bearers failed to respond until another tragedy of the death of the 77-year-old Madam Atsufi Amede occurred through drowning within the same area of the “unapproved concessions”.
After the breaking news on Fafaa FM, of the latest death on Monday the 26th December, 2022, Fafaa FM, through its Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Ketaman Evortepe, forwarded the message and pictures of the tragedy to the MCE and the Regional Minister, calling on them to act to save other vulnerable citizens. In response the MCE sent message to the CEO of Fafaa FM to assure him that he has summoned an emergency security meeting for briefing on the development and will act accordingly.
Although the MCE and his security council finally issued a ” STOP WORK ORDER” in December, 2022, to the Seven Seas Company with and instructions to create an artificial canal to drain the water and fill the trenches, ponds, dykes, the company is yet to act on the instructions of Hon. Maxwell Kofie Lugudor.
While the controversy of the powers behind the alleged illegality being perpetrated by the Seven Seas Company, Togbi Adama III, the Paramount chief of Some traditional area and some of his chiefs were alleged to have collected over Ghc 500,000.00 in form of compensation from the Seven Seas Company for the unapproved Adafienu wetland, to the detriment of many lives lost. Togbi Adama in justification to his action claimed during a program at the Global Evangelical Church, Agbozume, that anyone who considered his actions as a crime should take him to court.
Hon. Elliott Agbenorwu, the immediate past Municipal Chief Executive Officer of Ketu South when asked to respond to who authorized the Seven Seas Company to operate within the unapproved areas claimed the Seven Seas Company action was an affront to his administration at the time, hence he instructed them to move out of the unapproved area. When asked who authorized Togbi Adama and co to be paid such amounts of money, whereas the area under contention was not approved, the former MCE claimed the company paid the said money to the chiefs at his blind sight.
The Regional Minister, Hon. Archibald Yao Letsa when addressing the press on the 4th November 2022, declared to the press that the company has secured all relevant documents to operate not only at its originally approved area, Adina concessions, but also in the areas where the two minister’s of state had declared it as unapproved. When Fafaa FM followed up for clarifications on the disparity between his declaration and that of the two minister’s of state, Hon. Letsa declined further comment on the precarious subject matter.
Togbiga Adzonugaga Amenya Fiti, the Paramount chief of Aflao traditional council lamented during an interview on Fafaa FM that, the company failed to accord his traditional council the courtesy of showing him the documents which gave them authority to operate within the said “unapproved areas”, to the detriment of the vulnerable of his traditional jurisdiction.
What is more amazing to the people of Ketu South is the changed attitude of its assembly men, who earlier organized the “MIEKUKUM” to wit, “we are dying” demonstration to demand the closure of the killer dykes in the unapproved areas. According to Hon. Petit Haligah, the constituency chairman of the NPP party, who once claimed they will prosecute the Seven Seas Salt Company, Hon. Petit later claimed on Fafaa FM that the common front of the assembly members is now divided therefore they cannot prosecute the Seven Seas Salt Company for their atrocities.
While the dilemma continues, the vulnerable citizens whose lives are at the mercy of the company were asking the following questions:
1. Which powers are behind the Seven Seas Company to the detriment of the innocent souls ?
2. Who gave them the authority to operate in the areas where the people are dying regularly?
3. Why did the Municipal Assembly, during the reign of Hon. Maxwell Kofie Lugudor fail to limit the Seven Seas Company to their original approved areas, until seven precious lives were lost in a less than nine months ?
4. If the predecessor of Hon. Lugudor, Hon. Agbenorwu claimed nobody died in his reign of four and half years, because he controlled and made sure the company did the right thing, then why now? Whose negligence?
5. Why did the ministers of state declared that the company has not secured an approval to operate in the areas of the “killer dykes” dangerous trenches, and ponds, but Hon. Letsa Archibald claimed the company secured all relevant documents, which of the top NPP party official is deceiving the public?
6. Who authorized Togbi Adama and co to collect various sums of money from the Seven Seas Company for the unapproved areas, while the former MCE Hon. Agbenorwu claimed, the company and the chiefs did what they had done at the blind side of his administration?
7. Why did the Seven Seas Company fail to comply with the final instructions from the incumbent MCE, Hon. Lugudor, to divert the water and close the trenches??
8. Why did the Seven Seas Company fail to compensate the Amewu family for four precious lives lost?
9. Who is benefiting from the alleged illegality of the Seven Seas Company?
10. What happens if another person should die again?
Watch out for further development……..
Source: duamenefafoundation.org / news editor in chief