Anlo Youth sue Minerals Commission over Adina salt
General News of Wednesday, 9 August 2017
The Anlo Youth Council in the Volta Region has dragged the Minerals Commission and three other state institutions to the Supreme Court for giving some firms — Kensington Industries Limited and Seven Seas Salt Limited, the license to mine salt in the Keta Lagoon.
The Council wants the court to declare as unconstitutional the issuance of the license to the said companies “without the approval or ratification by Parliament.”
The residents of Adina in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region a few months ago revolted against the salt companies especially, Kensington, accusing them of drying up their wells and destroying water bodies with their operations.
Joined to the Anlo Youth Council’s case is the Attorney General, Director of Wild Life Division of the Forestry Commission as well as the Water Resources Commission.
The Council in its writ also argued that the Water Resources Commission, Chief Wild Life Officer and the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources failed in their role of protecting the Keta Lagoon Complex “by allowing or failing to stop the complete blockage of the Belikpa stream from flowing into the Keta Lagoon Complex.”
It also want “a declaration that all licenses granted by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources to Kensington Industries Limited, Seven Seas Salt Mining Limited or any other person to extract brine from beneath the bed of the Keta Lagoon Complex, a Ramsar site and its actual extraction from the bed of the Lagoon has an adverse effect on the environment and the people residing within the catchment area of the Keta Lagoon Complex, does not constitute a ‘sustainable utilization’ and “wise use” of the Keta Lagoon Complex, and therefore is inconsistent with Article 36(9) of the 1992 Constitution and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, 1971 as amended.”
Below are other reliefs sought by the Anlo Youth Council:
A declaration that the failure by the Minster for Lands and Natural Resources and the Chief Wild Life Officer to designate or demarcate portions of the Keta Lagoon Complex which is a Ramsar site as a CORE AREA and gazette same for the effective management of the ecosystem within the Keta Lagoon Compex under the Wetland Management ( Ramsar Sites) Regulation, 1999 (LI 1659) is inconsistent with Article 36(9) of the 1992 Constitution and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, 1971 as amended.
A declaration that the compulsory acquisition by the State of a parcel of land in the Keta Lagoon Complex and grant of a mining license over same to Kensington Industries Limited/Seven Seas Salt Limited and other persons for the purposes of salt mining without the prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation to the owners of such lands is inconsistent with Article 20 of the 1992 constitution and therefore unconstitutional.
A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 20 of the 1992 Constitution the listing of certain stool, Family or Clan lands as Ramsar sites or Wetlands of international importance under Regulation 1 of the Wetlands Management (Ramsar Sites) Regulation, 1999 (LI 1659) without the prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation to the owners of such lands is inconsistent with Article 20 of the 1992 Constitution and therefore unconstitutional.
An order setting aside the Mining licenses granted by the Minerals Commission or the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources to Kensington Industries Limited, Seven Seas Salt Limited and other persons to exploit and mine salt from the bed of the Keta Lagoon Complex on grounds that such licenses lack the approval or ratification by Parliament under Article 268 of the 1992 Constitution.
An order setting aside the Mining Licenses of Kensington Industries Limited, Seven Seas Limited and other persons granted by the Minerals Commission and/or the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources on grounds that they contravene Article 20 of the 1992 Constitution.
An order of mandamus directed at the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, The Water Resources Commission and the Director, Wild Life Division of the Forestry Commission to remove forthwith all obstacles erected in the path of the Belikpa stream to allow the natural free flow of the fresh waters of the Belikpa stream into the Keta Lagoon Complex as has been the case since time immemorial.