The Himan Prestea stakeholders coalition in the Western region on Tuesday staged a peaceful demonstration against the government for refusing to fulfill the promises made to the community before the 2012 general election.
The over thousand aggrieved citizens wearing red bands sang and marched through the Prestea Township. They were led by the divisional chief of Prestea Himan, Nana Nteboa Prah IV.
The demonstrators started from Tuobodom lorry station around, 0100 hours and went through Anfagye, Borla Achire and Prestea Cemetery road.
Some of the placards carried by the demonstrators read, "surface mining will kill us," "Prestea is not Afghanistan, bring back the processing plant", "we want underground mine not surface mining" and "Prestea Himan deserve better roads".
Addressing the community after the demonstration, Nana Nteboa Prah IV explained that the entire Prestea Himan community was lacking behind in development, and that, due to the dusty nature of the road the health of the people was in danger.
He appealed to government to ensure that the Prestea underground mine is revived to reduce the high rate of unemployment in the district.
In a petition presented to the District Chief Executive of Prestea Huni/Valley, Mr. Robert Wisdom Cudjoe, the community said in 2012, the then minister of lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Mike Hamah, requested for a one year action plan, aimed at revamping the underground mine but nothing has been done and demanded to know the progress of work so far.
"We would like to draw your attention that there has been no active mining in the underground mine since it was re-commissioned last year," the petition stated.
They also appealed to government to force the Golden Star Bogoso Prestea Limited to concentrate on the underground mining, which can employ over 3,000 workers rather the surface mining at Prestea.
The DCE received the petition on behalf of the government and promised to present it to the Regional Minister.
The Member of Parliament for the area, Mr. Francis Adu-Blay Koffie congratulated the demonstrators for going through the exercise peacefully.
He promised to consult government and other stakeholders to ensure that the concerns raised on the Prestea underground mine,the poor road network and the joint military and police harassment on the citizens will be addressed.
Nana Esi Brew Monney