The youth in Ada on Friday, February 18, 2022, embarked on a walk to express their solidarity and support for the decision by the traditional authorities of Ada in the Greater Accra Region, and the government of Ghana, to lease the Songor salt concession to Electrochem Ghana Limited owned by Dr. Daniel Mckorley (McDan).
The walk, which was led by the Ada Youth Forum for Development (AYFfD), a community-based advocacy group, started from Sege through Kasseh, and ended at the Asafotu Park at Big Ada with the presentation of a note of gratitude to the Paramount Chief of Ada, Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III.
In his speech, the secretary to AYFfD, Mr. Ernest Kugblenu, expressed appreciation to the traditional council, government, and other stakeholders for leasing the Songor lagoon to Electrochem Ghana for what they see as the long-awaited transformation from its artisanal status to a “world-class” salt-producing site.
He said, “Electrochem’s achievements, in just a year of operation, are incontestable”.
“The decision to create community pans for artisanal miners in communities around the concession is one initiative by Electrochem, which must be lauded, since it gives a lot more people access to the lagoon as captured in the Master Plan”, Mr. Kugblenu noted.
“The people of Ada, particularly the fisherfolk, are happy that Electrochem has restored the Songor lagoon and fishing activities – which positively impact the livelihood of the people – back to life…”
In his view, the “very few people” who are agitating against the redevelopment of the lagoon are yet to tell the Ada state how they want the Songor developed and what benefit the Ada state got through artisanal mining (Atsiakpor) which, he noted, has been the practice for years.
Mr. Kugblenu indicated that Ada would have seen more development if similar progressive initiatives and investments were not resisted in the past just as “a few self-centered” persons are presently doing.
He reaffirmed the youth’s support for the traditional authorities and for all efforts that will bring development to the Ada people and the state.
“We are very optimistic that before the 15-year lease ends, Ada will be a better place to live in”, he emphasised.
Nene Ahuodin Otumfuor, Senior Asafoatse of Kabiawetsu clan, who received the gratitude note from the youth on behalf of the paramount chief, thanked the youth for the open support.
He urged them to disregard the rumours that the concession was sold, adding, “We were on the verge of losing the Songor lagoon because it had dried completely and for years, efforts to restore it failed”.
“We, the traditional authorities, considered it prudent to partner the government to lease it for only 15 years to help turn around its fortunes…”
“We have the power to renew the agreement or reclaim the concession after expiration depending on the impact the current investor makes”, he said.
“For now, Electrochem needs our support to get fully established and to be able to champion the development of the Ada state”, he concluded.