Ho, The Seven Seas Salt Company at Adina in the Ketu South Municipality and its host communities on Thursday signed a peace agreement to use mediation to resolve their misunderstandings.
The agreement, which was initiated by the Volta Regional office of the Peace Council, was signed by chiefs and youth leaders of the host communities and representatives of the company.
The parties, under the deal, agreed not to use violence to address issues related to the operation of the company in the area.
Atsu Nkegbe, 24, a native of Adina died instantly from alleged gunshots by police in a clash between youth of the community and the company after some two young men allegedly assaulted a staff of the company who attempted to stop them from stealing salt from the company’s concession.
Two others, including a lady, were also wounded from the gunshots and were said to be receiving treatment at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
The communities, including Adina, Agbevekope and Adinamornu, blamed the company for causing drought in the area resulting in the drying up of domestic wells and destruction of coconut plantations through its drilling of underground water for production of salt.
At a stakeholders meeting organised by the Peace Council in Ho chaired by Dr Archibald Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, the parties mandated the Peace Council to begin a mediation process towards peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Monsignor Anthony Kornu, Chairman, Volta Region Peace Council, said dialogue remained the most effective way for conflict resolution and commended the parties for the decision.
He asked them to drop entrenched positions to live peacefully.
Mr Cornelius Binewoatsor, the Legal Advisor to the company, said the company came to Ghana peacefully and was operating for mutual benefit and cautioned against emotional outburst during the mediation.
He said the company was still in its gestation period and that it has not reneged on its social responsibility commitments.
Togbe Addo VII, Paramount Chief of Klikor, said the chiefs were happy that the company was located in the area and appealed that it employs the youth of the area to curb their migration to other city centres.
Mr Daniel Sorokpo, Youth Leader, Some/Klikor Traditional area, said it is important that the company addresses issues of remuneration for the few locals it employed, compensation to the original landowners and go by its business plan, which detailed supports for the communities.
Dr Letsa said it is untrue that the salt concession was given out by the chiefs and that all mineral resources were under the control of the state.
He appealed to the youth to be sober because, “militancy does not solve problems,” saying the issue ought to be resolved to maintain investor confidence in the Region.
The meeting had representatives from the Regional Caucus of Members of Parliament under the chairmanship of Mr Emmanuel Bedzra.
Source: Ghana News Agency