Workshop to harmonise mineral laws held at Daboase
A two-day training workshop to sensitise mining communities on the mineral and mining laws has opened at Daboase in the Wassa East District , with a call on mining firms to engage the local communities to obtain their social license for operation.
The workshop is expected to give the mining communities some reasonable quota of employment conditions to improve on their standards.
It is being organised by World University Service of Canada in collaboration with the Wassa East District Assembly and jointly funded by Global Affairs Canada and CECI, an NGO under the West Africa Governance and Environmental Sustainability (WAGES) project.
Speaking on the topic, “Relevance of the Mining Law and the Role of Stakeholders”, a Consultant to WAGES, Mr Wilbert Brentum revealed that most of the communities confessed that they had little knowledge about the mining laws and regulations.
“To this end, most of them shy away from the law due to technicalities beyond their comprehension”.
Mr Brentum said it was against this backdrop that WAGES had taken upon itself to simplify the law and make it digestible to the local and catchment community members, pointing out that the lack of understanding on the mining and mineral laws was the source of conflict in mining communities.
Touching on section 50 clause 1 of the Mineral and Mining Act, Mr Brentum said per the law,”a mining company reserved the right to choose their employees for training without restrictions.
He appealed to mining communities to exercise patience and look at the provisions in the law before taking any action against the mining firms.
A Local Governance Specialist for the WAGES project, Mr Akwasi Owusu-Bi underscored the need for miming communities to have access to the minerals and mining law.
Mr Owuu-Bi cited issues like compensation and re-settlement which normally created misunderstanding to be dealt with by the end of the workshop.
He said the trainer of trainer workshop, was a sequel to a community outreach programme where the trainees would partner the Information Services Department (ISD), the National Commission on Development (NCD) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to embark on a sensitisation exercise with mining communities to ensure continuity and sustainability.
He told the GNA that the workshop was yielding dividends as it continued to deepen awareness creation for Assembly members to ask the right questions and be abreast with the Minerals Development Fund that come to the Assembly.
Mr Owusu-Bi also appealed to mining firms to engage the communities and give them some quota of employment in a bid to secure their social license.