Coalition tells President Mahama to halt mining activities in Upper West

miningUpper West Civil Society Coalition on Mining, Food, Water and Sacred Sites, has called on the President to as a matter of urgency halt any process to open up Upper West Region for mining activity.

“This is because of the fragile nature of the ecosystem coupled with the weak legal regime, which turns to deprive the people of their birth right,” the Coalition said.

A statement issued in Wa at the end of a five-day legal training workshop organised by the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development said.

It alleged that Azuma Resources Limited has plans to draw water from the Black Volta for its mining operations.

“We are strongly of the view that the activities of Azuma Resources will gravely affect water quality and put the lives of the people in danger,” the statement said.

The Coalition therefore called on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mining and Energy and the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources to exercise due diligence and circumspection in the award of mining license to Azuma Resources and any other mining company seeking to operate in the Region.

“This is particularly because, we think the region is ecologically fragile for any major adventure in mining. The people are largely agrarian and their livelihoods and survival needs are dependent on their farm lands.”

The Coalition also condemned what it describes as “the flagrant disregard of some of the mining companies to the mining laws of the country.

The statement said some of the companies commence full scale operations without valid contracts.

It said the net effects of mining in the region to the government, people and the environment would be much disastrous than any potential benefits one could envisage in both the short and long term.

“In the light of the forgoing, we are fully persuaded that the Upper West Region is not ready for any mining adventure and we resolve to employ all legitimate actions to protect, preserve and defend the inalienable, non-negotiable rights and safety of the people and generations to come,” the statement said.

Source: GNA

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