THE STORY OF KRABOA COALTAR
Know the Origin of Towns
By Kwame Ampene (Founder of the Guan Historical Society)
The town of KRABOA COALTAR in the Suhum-Kraboa Coaltar District is about 23 kilometres north of Nsawam in the Eastern Region.
The nearest hill to the Town is KRABO, eastwards, so the whole area is known KRABO.
Tradition relates that in about 1900, a group of migrant farmers from Larteh-Kubease in Akuapem led by Kwao Baadu (alias Kwao Oti) was accompanied by his relatives namely Kofi Sakyi (Oti Aye Boafo) Kwasi Owusu, Yaw Baah and Kwame Obohene.
They approached the Chief of Akyem Apapam, Nana Kwasi Dwae and his brother, Kwaku Sono, to negotiate for an outright purchase of land for farming purposes. The land-owner did not show any inhibitions about the transaction when he was consulted, and a large track of land was sold to the migrant farmers. It was a thick uninhibited forest.
On completion of the demarcation, the land-owner (Vendor) provided a sheep which was slaughtered on the boundary a customary way of putting the purchaser (Vendee) in perpetual possession of the land.
In the neighbourhood were some farming communities before the alienation of the land, notably Dokrokyewa, Adimadim, Adiembra, Bepoase and Aburi Kraboa.
The newcomers Larteh Kubease built their settlement west of the Krabo Stream, close to Aburi-Kraboa on the east bank which had earlier been settled by matrilineal families from Aburi.
The security of the land tenure agreement became important to the patrilineal group from Larteh- Kubease who became entirely free to allocate portions of the land to their sons. The heavy annual rains and the fertility of the soil made the forest extremely productive.
When they realised that cocoa cultivation was profitable, their children also made absolute purchase of some extended plots of land in the area from Chief Kwaku Amoah II of Akyem Asamankese.
Other patrilineal groups joined them and acquired separate lands from Chief Kwabena Omane who had succeeded Chief Kwasi Dwae of Apapam. Cocoa cultivation, therefore became the principal occupation in the whole area, and by 1930, the land became a canopy of foliage.
According to the traditional history of Kraboa Coaltar, the original name of the settlement was LARTEH-KRABOA; however from the onset the children of Yaw Owusu and Kwasi Broni erected two mud buildings at the site of the present-day lorry park.
They improved upon the structures by painting the outside walls with Coaltar to scour the heavy down-pour of rain. Passersby used to break their journey and lodge with them, and identified the settlement with special reference to the buildings painted with Coaltar, hence the place came to be known as KRABOA COALTAR, previously it was Larteh-Kraboa.
Between 1930 and 1932, Kraboa Coaltar was developed and became a prosperous cocoa centre with several cottages in the neighbourhood.
Finally, Kwao Otu, leader of the migrant-farmers from Larteh Kubease died in 1930, and was succeeded by Kwasi Owusu, chosen from among the first group of settlers; he became the second Head Chief.
He died after a long reign at the age of 90 years on January 8, 1963. Thereafter Panyin Otu Ayeh Boafo, the only surviving member of the group was renounced by the people due to his Christian belief. In view of that his son, Ayete Otu was unanimously appointed and installed as Odikro with the Stool name Baffour Ave Boafo. And on November 1963 he swore the Oath of allegiance to the Adontenhene of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area.
The Spectator Page: 31 Saturday, May 7, 2011