People without Mining License will be debarred from Mining-Woyongo
5/18/2012 6:30:27 PM -
Gbane(UE), May 18, GNA- Mr Mark Woyongo , Upper East Regional Minister has expressed dismay about the spate of land degradation in the Region as a result of illegal small scale mining activities.
The Regional Minister who expressed the dismay during a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a bridge at Gbane in the Talensi-Nabdam District warned that henceforth the Regional Coordinating Council and the Minerals Commission would ensure that people without licenses were not permitted to mine.
'A lot of our environment is degraded and if we do not protect the land our children's children will not have lands to farm and this will further aggravate the poverty situation in the Region'
He regretted that most of the lands that had been degraded had not been reclaimed and called on the Shaanxi Mining Company Ghana Limited which is building the bridge as part of its corporate social responsibility, and other mining companies to ensure that they reclaim the land after their activities.
The Regional Minister however commended the Shaanxi Manning Company Ghana Limited for the complementary roles it had been playing not only in the District but the Region as a whole, and indicated that although the Company was yet in its early stage, some of the contributions it had made so far included the donation of 114 dual desks and four teachers' tables to a basic school, the provision of a car to the District Assembly, extension of underground water and creation of jobs for hundreds of people, especially the youth.
Mr Woyongo noted that the construction of the 'Oun Bridge' which is estimated at about 1,000,000 dollars would not only link the people in the area but would also serve as one of the strongest pillars for the socio-economic development of the area.
He stated that plans were also far advanced by the Company to begin with the extension of Hydro Electricity Power from the Pwalugu Sub-station to the Mining site which would be solely financed by the company.
'When this project is completed, many communities within the catchment area will be connected to the national power grid. Additionally, plans are far advanced for the provision of a number of boreholes to the community to get access to good drinking water', the Minister indicated.
Mr Wei Xing, Chief Executive Officer of the Mining Company noted that though the Company was in its developmental stages, it viewed corporate social responsibility as one of its major visions which could not be down played, and would continue to do more for the community.
Meanwhile the worse forms of illegal small-scale mining activities in the Region can be found in the Talensi Nabdam District where as a result of the illegal mining activities many households have lost their farmlands and cannot get a place to farm.
Apart from that, most school children have abandoned schooling and others have also become drop outs, making their future very bleak.
Another worrying trend is that teenagers are engaged in illegal small mining activities, violating the country's labour law and the International Human Rights Conventions.
Despite the fact that the District Assembly, Afrikids Ghana, a child right protection NGO, and other stakeholders are fighting against the menace the situation continues to worsen.