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Oil communities want meaningful relationship with GNPC

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Oil RigThe members of the Coastal Platform for Peacebuilding (COPP) has called on the Ghana National Petroleum Company(GNPC) to establish a meaningful relationship with the indigenes in the areas affected by its activities.

They said the GNPC had not done much in community relations and this had created some tension among some companies operating in the area and the indigenes.

“Time has come for the GNPC officials come down or employ community relations experts to educate the locals on emerging challenges”, they said.

This and other issues including land acquisition, fishing around the rig and using fire on the sea by fishermen were raised at a meeting between the members of COPP and officials from the security agencies and oil companies.

The event was organised by the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, Ghana (WANEP-Ghana) in Takoradi.

Mr Justin Bayor, National Network Coordinator for WANEP-Ghana, said the COPP project which had moved into its second phase is a 15 months project under the sponsorship of STAR-Ghana and would help in identifying early signals of violence as a result of the oil for its resolution.

At the meeting some suggested the relocation of three communities affected by the gas plant as well as establishing alternative livelihood options for both fishermen and farmers affected.

The members said there should be specific scholarship tailored for the coastal communities as the existing ones like the cocoa scholarship were only for people of the interior.

Mr Bayor said the COPP would be equipped to deal with rumours and other grievances before they erupted into conflict.

Nana Kwesi Agyeman IV, Omanhene of Lower Dixcove, lauded the various interventions by Tullow Ghana and prayed that more would be done to meet the expectations of the indigenes.

The meeting was also used to elect new executives to run COPP till its fully handed down to the indigenes to operate.

Source: GNA

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