Minerals Commission to analyse activities of mining companies
Accra, July 8, GNA - Ms. Sherry Ayittey, Minster of Environment, Science and Technology, on Wednesday called on the Minerals Commission to critically analyse the activities of any mining company that wants its license to be renewed.
“The renewal of any license of any mining company should be first and foremost based on its fulfillment of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. If the company was not able to fulfill what it set for itself, I don't see the reason why its license should be renewed,” she said.
Addressing the management of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday, she charged the Agency to always move to assess any area approved by the Minerals Commission for mining to analyse its impact on the environment and the inhabitants before giving approval.
“If you see that the mining activity would have any negative impact on the people, please do not give the approval,” she said.
Ms Ayittey also called for a review of the Mining Act passed last year since it contained a lot of flaws which did not augur well for the wellbeing of those living in rural areas.
She said due to the negative effects of climate change, the Ministry had set up the Climate Change Committee to come out with policies on how to combat the its negative effects.
Ms Ayittey charged the EPA to occasionally publish the names of chemicals that had been banned or approved by the Agency for use in order to let the public know and save lives.
She appealed to the management to do well to promote all staff who could be promoted, adding that very soon the Board of Directors would be reconstituted for the Agency to take care of other issues.
Ms Ayittey said Ghanaians had now become very conscious of their dependency on the environment and urged the management to consult the ministry for its assistance.
According to Ms Ayittey the ministry had engaged the services of a consultant to look into the activities of the EPA and come out with recommendations.
She said the ministry would set up the Environmental Fund to take care of the salaries of the workers before the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure and that very soon the Agency would be furnished with pickups for effective mobilization.
The minister also inspected a GHG¢2.00 laboratory equipment that the government had purchased for the Agency. They include Portable Hydrocarbon Analyser, Noise Meter for noise measurement, Ultimate Refrigerant Machine and Potalab which is used to analyze the quality level of water and effluent.
She called for a bigger and a better resourced laboratory for the Agency to enable it to carry out its duties efficiently.
“It will better if the Agency can have a well resourced laboratory stocked with modern equipments, a library, an office and a research section as well for better work to be done.”
Mr. Jonathan Allotey, Executive Director of EPA, said the Agency was doing all it could to ensure sustainable environment for the country.
He said the Agency was liaising with the Millennium Development Authority to ensure that the environmental aspect of the Millennium Development Goals was achieved.
He cited lack of logistics, poor enforcement of the Agency regulations and dwindling staff numbers due to poor remuneration, as some of the challenges that had plagued the Agency.