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19.03.2009 Business & Finance

Tullow sensitises local fishermen on oil project


UK-based Tullow Oil which is currently drilling oil wells in the Jubilee reserves has held stakeholder meetings with local fishermen in efforts to minimise risk around the project.

The meeting, which was attended by chief fishermen in the Western Region, also aimed at briefing the local communities on the status of the project and the expected role of the local people, such as the fishermen.

Mr Allan Dowokpor, Well Manager of Tullow Ghana, said many fishermen groups had violated restrictions set around the oil rig, adding that it was a source of worry, hence the need to step up sensitization for the community.

“There are markings near the rig which indicate that fishermen should not get close but many of them have persistently violated this,” he added.

Mr Dowokpor urged the chief fishermen to serve as peer educators in their communities so as to minimize the dangers associated with fishing near the rig.

Okyeame Ampadu-Agyei, a Senior Advisor of Tullow Ghana, said the company would constitute a social responsibility committee for communities within the catchment area of the oil field.

The committee, he said, will be a liaison between the company and the communities for effective communication.

Mr Ampadu-Agyei said Tulllow and its partners were designing a social responsibility framework to assist communities affected by the project.

“Corporate social responsibility is one of our priorities and we will focus on health, education and enterprise development,” he said.

Nana Konduah IV, Western Regional chairman of the National Canoe Fishermen Council, urged Tullow to erect more visible warning indicators around the rig to alert and ward off fishermen who might get closer to the facility.