Chiefs and elders of Ada traditional area at Electrochem's Songor Salt Project site

Chiefs, elders and opinion leaders of the Ada Traditional area have expressed their satisfaction with the Songor Salt Development Project being undertaken by Electrochem Ghana Limited.

They were satisfied with the project when they visited there to get themselves abreast with ongoing development and progress of work on the Songor lagoon.

The chiefs and elders were also to get a clear appreciation of the work Electrochem is doing with regards to a 15-year-old contract it has over the Salt project.

Electrochem Ghana Limited has come under intense pressure from the people of Ada as a result of the lease agreement it has with the government of Ghana to develop the mine salt in the area.

In order to put all impasse between the company and residents to rest, the Chefs and elders of Ada decided to embark on the tour of the project site. At a colourful event after a tour of the site, the elders appreciated the modification of the lagoon, which had been left in a dire state over the past 40 years.

They were full of praise for McDan and his group for effectively developing the Songor Salt.

According to them, what they have seen is actually the true reflection of the many promises the company made when it first stepped on their waters.

Chiefs and elders of Ada touring Electrochem’s Songor Salt project site

They indicated that the Songor Salt Project is a big venture that has the potential of changing the lives of the people, especially the youth, hence every effort must be made to support whoever is given the lease to develop the facility.

According to them, Electrochem Ghana is the best thing to have happened to them and therefore, any attempt by some individuals to scuttle the ongoing Salt Project in Ada would not be entertained.

They said from what they have seen so far as regards the progress of work and the employment opportunities thereof, they as elders, chiefs and community opinion leaders have no option than to send the good news to the youth and educate them on what the community stands to gain from the ongoing project being executed by Electrochem Ghana.

They have also confirmed the fact that the Songor Lagoon from which salt is being mined has been lying unattended to for the past 40 years, and has been in a deteriorating state.

This, they said, had given cause of concern to the Chiefs who appealed to the government to lease the site out for effective management in order to help develop the area.

Their initial fear was that, because few people in the communities had been exploiting the Lagoon and preventing other people from benefiting from the proceeds, the situation may continue.

However, they now have confidence in Electrochem Ghana that has created over 1,000 jobs for the youth and paying salaries which have never been paid workers by previous handlers of the project.

“We are very happy of what is going on here at Songor. Indeed, majority of our youth who hitherto are living idle, have been employed and are earning meaningful wages. Checks conducted at the project site has revealed that over 1000 residents, mostly youth, have already been employed by the company to undertake various activities for the smooth implementation of the project. This is development, and we believe all hands must be on deck to ensure that this works,” they said.

Addressing the elders, chiefs and opinion leaders during the visit, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MacDan Group of Companies and Chairman of Electrochem Ghana Limited, Daniel McCauley said his major concern is to build wealth for the communities through jobs and employment opportunities.

He said Electrochem Ghana Limited has so far employed over 1,000 youth within the first three months of operations.

Mr McCauley said the company is currently working on the community pans as it continues the refurbishing and reengineering works on the Lagoon.

He disclosed that 10 pans have so far been completed and three pans would be given to the community to operate.

Mr McCauley pointed out that, the youth who would mine in those pans would be able to mine over 500,000 bags of salt every year.

This, he pointed out, is a great turnaround for the youth of Ada.

He believes that elders, chiefs and opinion leaders would buy into the vision of building Ada.