Case Information

Kibi Goldfields in Saamang
The communities of Saamang and Juaso, in Ghana’s Eastern Region, have been host to the mining operations of Kibi Goldfields Ltd. for over a decade. Village residents have often complained of environmental destruction, land grabs, and unsafe conditions around the mining pits. In 2012 and 2013, village residents resisted the company’s diversion of one their key water sources, and the Ghanaian government’s reaction was swift and punitive. Over the course of several weeks, police and military entered the villages, arresting and beating people who were believed to have led the resistance.
Nwoase Community Residents vs. the Atekoanohene
The people of Nwoase Community – one of the four villages in Bono East Region where ACA piloted its community-driven development programs – have been locked in a struggle with their traditional chief, the Atekoanohene, for several years. The chief, long known for his brutality and disregard of the villagers’ welfare, suddenly announced in 2017 that he was selling off the village’s farmland to external developers. This would leave the people of Nwaose with no means of livelihood and no recourse for replacement land.

Using skills and cohesion developed through the FCAP process for community-driven development, the Nwoase residents overcame division and intimidation to take their complaint to the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice. This is a ground-breaking complaint that could clarify the role of traditional authorities in respecting human rights in Ghana.

The Kpone Waste-Pickers and the World Bank
The informal workers at Kpone Landfill in Team (known as “waste-pickers”) are an essential and misunderstood part of the ecosystem of waste treatment and sanitation in the Accra area. Through their efforts, thousands of tons of recoverable waste are recycled each year, but most Ghanaians – including the government and the managers of the landfill, hold them in contempt.

Two years ago, the Kpone Waste-Pickers’ Association was informed that the landfill would be shut down as part of a World Bank-supported sanitation project. Since then the waste-pickers have been trying to ensure that their rights and livelihoods will be protected as their source of earnings is decommissioned forever.


Esther Osei and 7 others filed suit in 2015 against Kibi Goldfields Ltd. for taking farmers’ land and destroying crops without compensation. With ACA’s support, the Centre for Public Interest Law prosecuted the case to completion, and High Court at Koforidua ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on Feburary 19, 2019.

In 2018, ACA worked with the Centre for Environmental Impact Analysis to help the communities conduct an independent environmental assessment of the mining operations. The results showed that air quality is problematic in Saamang and Juaso, likely as a result of the dust arising from mining roads and the mine site.

ACA is also working with the communities to document and collect evidence relating to the security force abuses that occurred in 2012 and 2013.

108 community members submitted a complaint to Ghana’s Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice in December 2017, alleging that the Atekoanohene had intimidated them and abused his power, and that his decision to sell their land would endanger their fundamental human rights to nutrition, health, and an adequate standard of living.

Over the next two years, Commission staff facilitated a series of meetings with the Atekoanohene in which he repeatedly promised to resettle the complainants and then reneged on his promises. However, at least in part because of the ongoing case, the plaintiffs were never expelled from most of the land in question. Finally, in March 2020, the community received the baffling information that their case had actually been closed by the Commission nearly two years earlier.

In May 2020, the Commission agreed to re-open the case and is currently investigating the facts.

ACA was asked by Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) to assist the Kpone Waste-Pickers’ Association to secure the rights of the waste-pickers. In October 2019, ACA, WIEGO, and the Association met with World Bank and Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources representatives, who denied that a Bank-supported project to close the Kpone Landfill existed.

In June 2020, work abruptly commenced on the closure of the landfill. In response to urgent WIEGO inquries, the contractor (Zoomlion) informed the waste-pickers that the closure was being funded by the Government of Ghana and not the World Bank, and that no Environmental and Social Impact Assessment had been completed.

ACA analyzed the World Bank project documents and concluded that the World Banks Environmental and Social Framework should apply to the Kpone Landfill closure, despite renewed denials by the World Bank that they are involved in the project. ACA, WIEGO, and the Association are currently gathering information to inform a strategy that protects the right to livelihood of the displaced waste-pickers.


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