Ghana government urged to consult chiefs when preparing mining agreements
Nana Frimpong-Manso Ababio, chief of Paboase near Chirano in the Western Region has appealed to the government to involve chiefs in negotiations leading to the signing of mining agreements.
This, he said, would enable the communities to closely monitor the activities of mining companies and draw attention to any infractions.
The chief said such involvement could also help to prevent misunderstanding and avert unnecessary confrontations between the companies and the people, especially the youth.
Nana Frimpong-Manso said this when Ms. Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, paid a working visit to Paboase to interact with the people and to listen to their concerns about the operations of the Chirano Gold Mining Company.
The Minister had earlier toured the mine in the
Tanosoro Forest Reserve to learn at first hand the environmental impact of its operations and to examine how it has been complying with the mining laws.
Ms Ayittey, who inspected the tailings dams and stock piles of waste, also interacted with the Chiefs and people of Etwebo and Akoti.
Nana Frimpong-Manso said although the Chirano Gold Mining Company was performing some of its social responsibilities, these were not enough and appealed to the Company to do more to support them with basic social amenities.
They should consider providing vocational training programmes to equip the youth in the area with employable skills, he said.
The Minister said the Government would ensure that the right things were done by the companies and to insist on best mining practices.
This, she said, was necessary to help bring about peaceful co-existence and reduce tension between mining communities and the mining companies.
Ms Ayittey said her Ministry would not compromise on the enforcement of environmental safety regulations and best practices by mining companies.
Mr Eric Darko, the Community Public relations officer of Gold Mining Company, said they were doing all that they could to honour their social responsibilities and called for cooperation from the youth.
At Etwebo, the Minister was told that some communities in the area have resolved to go on a demonstration to press for the payment of compensation in respect crops and farms destroyed by the miners.
They include Chirano, Akaaso, Surano, Anyinase, Akoti, Obrayeko, Etwabo, Kwawkrom and Paboase.