Ghanaian communities demand compensation from Chinese mining firm
Mining communities in the Talensi District of Ghana are demanding compensation from the Shaanxi Mining Company Limited, a subsidiary of China Gold Resources Group Company, which is operating in the area.
The Gbane , Datuku, Yale communities who made the demand at a stakeholders’ meeting organized by the Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA), a Civil Society Organization, said apart from the mining company depriving them of their farm lands, most of the economic trees such as sheanut and “dawada” had been destroyed.
Mrs Mba Ma Bolinze, 39, said women used to pick bags of sheanuts and dawada from the large tracks of land the company had cleared for its plant , office and staff accommodation.
“We used to either sell the sheanuts or process them into shea butter for sale but we can no longer do that. This has disempowered us economically and we can no longer cater for our children, particularly in their schooling which we used to do easily.”
Most of the participants whose farmlands are affected said they no longer had any better livelihoods and found it difficult to cater for their families particularly paying the school fees of their children.
The communities are also demanding that two schools sited close to the mining area be relocated by the Company since the mining activities affected teaching and learning and also had health implication since heavy trucks of the company create dust.
They said there was high school dropout rate and poor academic performance in the area as a result of mining activities and suggested that the district assembly, chiefs and assembly members including school management committees come out with a by-law to outlaw children who are below the age of 18 from mining and a task force set up to enforce it.
The participants appealed to the mining company to ensure that they manage their activities very well to avoid the pollution of their drinking water sources such as rivers and streams .
Mr Cletus Anaaya , Area Manager of Afrikids in charge of Bolgatanga who spoke on child rights, told them that it was wrong for them to allow their children who should have been in school to engage in mining activities.
“Parents who will be caught manhandling children particularly hiding children with disability in indoors will not be spared by the law”, he said.
Mr Bismark Ayorogo Adongo urged the mining company to ensure that the communities are paid compensation due them.