Inhabitants in the Obuasi town of Anyinam in the Ashanti Region are up in arms against mining giant AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) over the company’s plan to construct a modern 24-unit classroom block.
According to the aggrieved residents, AGA failed to engage the community properly for approval of the project’s site.
AngloGold Ashanti, as part of its 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan, initiated various educational initiatives, including the construction of educational facilities in its operational areas. Consequently, the company proposed to demolish both the Anyinam Methodist ‘A’ and ‘B’ schools and replace them with a magnificent 24-unit classroom block at the Methodist ‘A’ school site, near the Kwesi Mensah Shaft.
However, at a press conference, the residents claimed that the company had not consulted them adequately regarding the selection of the project’s location.
Eric Amaning, the group’s leader also accused the local Assembly member, Richard Cudjoe, and others of misleading AGA into choosing the Anyinam Methodist ‘A’ site, close to the Kwesi Mensah Shaft, without considering the community’s input.
He further questioned the decision to demolish the school, which occupied a 14-acre land with a football pitch and volleyball court, to build a new structure on a 3-acre plot.
“The football pitch and volleyball court served the whole Anyinam community. Now you say you want to build a 24-unit classroom block at the Methodist A premises, which is only 3 acres. Does this mean we can’t have any playing field anymore?”
Amaning also questioned the feasibility of a 3-acre site for a project of this scale, arguing that the proposed site wasn’t suitable and raised concerns about its proximity to the noisy Kwesi Mensah Shaft, which they feared would disrupt academic activities.
The residents appealed to AGA to reconsider building the school at the Anyinam Methodist ‘A’ site or ‘Anyinam fie’ and instead engage in further negotiations with the community to determine a more suitable location for the new school.
The mining firm was not readily available to comment on the matter.
SOURCE: SAMPSON MANU/ISD OBUASI