Two Community mining sites have been opened to encourage responsible, inclusive and sustainable small scale mining in the Western Region.
Unregulated small scale mining by both local and foreign nationals had caused massive destruction to Ghana’s environment, especially water bodies and forest reserves.
To curb the danger, the Akufo-Addo-led administration placed a ban on the practice, introduced operations vanguard and other legal regimes to encourage more responsible Mining.
Mr Mireku Duker, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, during the Commissioning at Mbaampehia in the Ahanta West Municipality, said, “We cannot continue to look on for our countrymen, especially farmers who drink from streams to die from both chemical and human waste dumped into the water bodies and environment.”
He said such harmful behaviours had resulted in kidney, liver and other dreaded diseases hence the need for a collaborative effort to end it.
Mr Duker said the community Mining concept has therefore come to stay, “government can never hate Mining…we need responsible one.”
He described the newly commissioned sites as a legal concession and urged operators to work in harmony and environmentally acceptable manner.
The Deputy Minister said the communities should own the Mines and help them to grow for the betterment of their communities.
He said the government had acquired the Commodity Monitor Equipment to save about 95 per cent of the gold ore, adding that “very soon, we will present one to the communities…the Minerals Commission is also well informed and will come from time to time to help you do your work well.”
Nana Agya Kwamena XI, who represented Otumfo Baidoo Bonsu, Over Lord of the Ahanta West Traditional council, lauded the government for the opportunity to create jobs and improve the livelihood of the people
Mrs Henrietta Mary Eyison, the MCE for Ahanta West, described the community Mining project as a key intervention to create wealth for the local people while preserving the environment.
Mr. Ebenzer Kojo Kum, the Ahanta West MP, said more than 3,000 people would benefit from the sites with its rippling effects on local economic growth, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, said Maps and necessary documentation were undertaken to ascertain suitability, adding “The Sector responsible has approved, therefore, Mine responsibly and develop your communities like Johannesburg and other beautiful places around the world.”
At Kwabre in the Jomoro Municipality, Mr Ernest Kwofie, the MCE, was grateful to the government for such an economic intervention to boost the livelihoods of the people.
He said, “We pray for the requisite training, monitoring and evaluation for a more coordinated activity that saved the environment from harm”.
Sedis-Plus Ghana Limited are the contractors on the Jomoro Site under the supervision of the Assembly.
The MCE added that the Assembly would collaborate with relevant agencies, especially EPA, Minerals Commission and others for sustainability.
A representative of Awulae Annor Adjaye, Paramount Chief of Western Nzema traditional area, said the project would allow the youth to be more focused.
He urged the contractor to adhere to the regulations governing the Community mining concept and involve the locals in development.