Coastal communities complain oil industry threatening livelihood

Oil RigRepresentatives of the six coastal districts along the Jubilee Oil Field off Cape Three Points in the Western Region, have complained that the oil industry is gradually threatening their livelihood.

They said contrary to expectations that the oil exploration would enhance their livelihood; it is rather impacting negatively on their socio-economic activities as fishermen are being rendered redundant by low catch as a result of enforcement of some regulations.

The representatives are made up of fishermen, fishmongers, traditional authorities and district assembly officials.

They said fishing and petty farming is the main occupation of the coastal communities but the law restricts them from fishing in deep sea close to the oil installations where they claim breed more fishes.

They made the complaints at a day’s seminar on oil and gas impact monitoring jointly organised by Friends of the Nation (FON), a Takoradi based NGO and Community Land and Development Foundation.

The seminar was on the theme: “Monitoring the environmental and socio-economic impacts of oil and gas activities is a critical concern.”

The representatives called for effective monitoring along the coast and at sea to ensure that the oil companies operating at the Jubilee Field do not destroy the environment.

They admonished the regulatory agencies to make sure that the oil companies operate in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment.

They noted that any oil spillage would have serious repercussions on the environment.

Mr Solomon Kusi Ampofo, Project Coordinator of the FON said the NGO had adopted drama and documentary to embark on educational awareness programme at the coastal communities on the dangers of abusing the beaches.

Ahanta-West, Nzema West, Ellembele, Jomoro, Shama and Sekondi-Takoradi form the six coastal districts along the Jubilee field.

Source: GNA

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