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WACAM urges government to protect people in mining communities

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Small scale miners

Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, Executive Director of WACAM, a Non-Governmental Organsition on Monday called on government and stakeholders to ensure protection for citizens in mining communities from abuse.

He said, “Government has the primary responsibility to protect the sovereign rights of every citizenry. There is no justification for people living in mining communities to suffer from human rights abuses and environmental injustice from the managements of mining companies.”

Mr Owusu-Koranteng made the call when WACAM provided financial assistance to three victims of abuses in Accra.

They are Mr Awudu Mohammed of Obuasi for his medical expenses from gun shots he received from security men of AngloGold Ashanti, Mr James Sarpong of Teberebie, who had his property destroyed to make way for the establishment of a Rock waste dump and Miss Sandra Sarpong, daughter of a victim, who was arrested by security men from AngloGold Ashanti at Sansu, an Obuasi suburb but died in their custody.

The various sums received by each victim were not disclosed.

“Ghana is being engulfed with many human right violations and environmental degradation associated with mining, we must not allow ourselves to be trampled upon by mining companies because they generate income for the country,” he added.

Mr Owusu-Koranteng appealed to managements of multinational mining companies operating in the country to be good corporate citizens and stop violating the rights of people living in the mining communities.

He appealed to the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to expedite action on issues of human rights abuses reported to it from the mining communities.

Mr Richard Kwevor, Country Representative of Oxfam America, an NGO called on the government to tackle issues of human rights violation in the country and urged the media to partner WACAM to protect the interest of the people by providing more and continuous education to the public on their rights and action against any abuse.

WACAM Ghana seeks to protect the environment, natural resources and the rights of marginalised mining communities through advocacy, campaign and representation within a legal framework sensitive to the concerns of mining communities in the country.

WACAM Ghana has over the years been involved in supporting victims whose rights had been trampled upon by mining companies in terms of health, education and survival.

Source: GNA

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