WACAM urges mining communities to empower themselves with knowledge of mining laws

By Kay Agbenyega || Contributor
Mining A group photo of Breman-Brofoyedu participants after the sensitisation program.
A group photo of Breman-Brofoyedu participants after the sensitisation program.

Wacam, a non-profit organization, has urged mining communities to continue empowering themselves with knowledge of mining laws and protocols.

The organization emphasizes that by understanding the Minerals and Mining Law and other related provisions, these communities will be better equipped to resist mining companies that threaten their livelihoods and rights. Wacam's Associate Executive Director, Mrs. Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, made this call during a week-long sensitization program in the NGO’s operational zones and communities in the Eastern, Central, and Western Regions.

The outreach program, held from June 10-14, 2024, aimed to enhance community members' understanding of minerals and mining regulations, the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) principle, among other issues, aligning with Wacam's advocacy efforts.

The exercise took place in several communities, including Saamang, Nkwateng, Adausena in the Eastern Region; Breman-Brofoyedu in the Central Region; and Ayensukrom, Tarkwa, and Bonyere in the Western Region, receiving high participation.

In Nkwateng, over 80 community members attended, many for the first time, while Saamang saw an attendance of 65 community members.

Earlier in Nkwateng, the Wacam team, led by Mrs. Owusu-Koranteng, paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Nkwateng, Nana Amanie Ankrah II, expressing gratitude for his support of their advocacy work in the town.

Nana Ankrah II praised Wacam for its long-standing human rights and environmental advocacy in mining communities across the country. He encouraged Wacam to continue its “good works” to empower more mining communities.

During the community engagement, Mrs. Owusu-Koranteng urged the communities to avoid violence when dealing with mining companies. Instead, she emphasized using the law to their advantage, highlighting the importance of peaceful and legal means to address grievances and protect their rights.

“After gaining education, it is important that you use it to champion your cause,” she told the participants.

She assured them that Wacam would continue to build their capacities to protect their rights and properties.

Wacam's Executive Director, Mr. Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, who later joined the team in Breman-Brofoyedu in the Central Region, encouraged community members to unite and stand against rights violations by mining companies. He warned them to be wary of the divide-and-rule tactics often employed by these companies.

The Wacam team also included Communications Officer Ato Keelson and Assistant Programmes Officer Nana Akuoko.

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Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024