Somey residents on collision course with salt mining firm

Residents of Somey near Adina in the Volta region are accusing an Indian salt mining firm, Seven Seas, of depriving them their livelihoods by preventing from mining salt there. 

Two weeks ago, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, visited the area and directed Seven Seas Salt Company, which was at the centre of the clashes with residents, to stop drawing underground water for its operations with immediate effect.

The company was given a 30-day ultimatum to fully implement a contractual agreement to develop 300 metres at the northern and the southern belts of the concession area for residents of the communities to participate in the salt mining.

But the residents say the company has taken a large share of the concession and they are being excluded. 

Acting paramount chief of the traditional area, Torgbui Sape Agbo told Joy News they supported Mr Amewu’s directive to the company but said government was yet to put its feet on the ground to ensure compliance.

“If they could put in more efforts in resolving the issue, I think it would go a long way to help both the community and the company,” he said. 

Photo: Torgbui Sape Agbo

He said considering that the company has stopped operating as a result of the clashes, it presents the opportunity for government to step in and resolve the protracted conflict once and for all. 

Togbui Agbo believes the resolution would enable the community to survive.

“The salt that they are using to feed their company is also relied on by the residents so they should give the residents some allowance. The 300-metres that they have provided is uphill which the residents cannot win salt there,” he said.