Samatex to cut off over 2000 employees over uncontrolled mining activities in its forest reserves, Stakeholders calls on authorities to intervene
The people of Samreboi and its environs are calling on the government to help curb the uncontrolled mining activities which have gone beyond the destruction of water bodies, river banks, and cocoa farms to the reserved forest at Wassa Amenfi.
According to a press statement dated 14th August 2022, endorsed by the Concerned Samreboi youth association, mining activities in the district have stretched into the forest reserves and plantations managed by Samartex timber and plywood Co.ltd.
It stated that the concerned people of Samreboi and its environ communities are showing concern as stakeholders of the company to call on authorities to act.
“As stakeholders, we must all come together to combat this menace orchestrated by a few individuals with selfish interest, claiming to have a legal permit to mine in the forest reserves” it stated.
As maintained by the press notice, Samatex Timber and Plywood Co.Ltd accommodate about 2500 youths in Wassa Amanfi West District as employees and serves as a training ground for engineers and skilled personnel through its free fee-free NVTI certified apprenticeship training program.
At this juncture, the many interventions the company is rendering to the Wassa Amenfi District are likely to be cut off since its resources are being destroyed by mining activities.
For this reason, the concerned people of Wassa and Aowin are calling on authorities to take immediate action.
In engagements with some of the town folks, they explained the below among others as the reason why the issue should be of national concern.
MINING ACTIVITIES IN RIVER BODIES, RIVER BANKS, AND FOREST RESERVES IN WASSA AMENFI
The people of Samreboi and its environs, the people of Wassa Amenfi and the people of Aowin have become very much concerned about mining activities which have uncontrollably gone beyond water bodies, river banks, cocoa farms and now forest reserves.
Much more alarming is the fact that forest reserves and plantations managed by Samatex Timber and Plywood Co.Ltd are being destroyed for mining purposes.
As stakeholders, we must all come together to combat this menace orchestrated by a few individuals with selfish interests, claiming to have a legal permits to mine in the forest reserves.
One may ask, why various stakeholders (community members, Royal stool holders, farmers, trade unions, the youth etc) will be so. much concerned about the activities of a wood processing company which are affected by mining.
For clarification, it should be noted that Samartex goes beyond its core activities and has been a lifeline for the past 25years for a population of over 500,000 Ghanaians cutting across various regions and districts, aside from fulfilling all legally required commitments and payments of its operations.
– The company maintains over 200km Road network which is plied by a population of over 400,000 for the past 25 years. Activities, including road constructions, road maintenance, shaping and gravelling, bridge maintenance etc. After cocoa road constructions were suspended, the company have been maintaining this road for the past 5 years which incurs an annual cost of 1 million Ghanaian cedis. Without these interventions of the company, roads to our homes and farms will be inaccessible, including medical care.
– The company provides employment for over 2500 persons
– The company is the training ground for Engineers and skilled personnel through our fee-free NVTI-certified apprenticeship training program. This has intervened in the life of the less-privilege persons in the Wassa Amenfi District.
– The company also manages a non-fee paying school for commutants ranging from nursery, Kindergarten, Primary and Junior High School.
– The company manages a health care facility (hospital) that on average serves about 4000 patients from Samreboi and its environs.
– Since there is no Ghana Water supply line in Samreboi, Samartex has been responsible for the provision of pipe-born water to the people of Samreboi and its neighbouring towns. This accounts for a 3600m³ with over Ghs400,000 annual treatment fee.
– Samartex has prioritised the regeneration of natural resources, by establishing and managing various plantations across the country with timber seedling nurseries. The company is one of the few surviving wood processing companies in the country and has been often been used by various educational institutions, researchers, exchange students and other institutions in the business as a case study for best practising and sustainability.
– With all the aforementioned interventions, the company also own a football club which is competing in the Ghana top league, the Ghana Premier League. The soccer club serves as a source of entertainment and talent development in this part of the country.
Considering the interventions the company renders to the Wassa Amenfi West and the counteybas as a whole, we, as stakeholders became so much concerned when information reached us about mining in these forest reserves especially, concessions under Samartex Tanor Nimre Forest Reserve, compartment 161, French River Reserve and Nueng South reserve suffering serious mining encroachment.
In deliberations with the management of the company, once the resource is being destroyed, the company will be forced to cut down extra expenses and this will result in cutting down overhead costs like the hospital, the football club, and public road maintenance among others.
The people of Wassa and Aowin cannot sit unconcerned for these unimaginable steps to be taken and for this reason, we are calling on the government of Ghans to intervene and take immediate actions.
Even with our layman’s understanding, it is illegal to mine in forests and water reserves. We will not allow any selfish individual to destroy our natural resources and all the direct and indirect benefits we gain from it.
Endorsed By: Concerned Samreboi Youths Association