Over 5000 ex-mine workers in Obuasi are being introduced to sustainable socio-economic livelihood initiatives in order to reintegrate them into local communities.
In March, this year, mining giant, AngloGold Ashanti, retrenched 6000 workers as part of a downsizing exercise due to dwindling fortunes of the mine.
Reports suggest severance packages paid to affected workers ranged between 12, 000 Ghana cedis and 1.5 million Ghana cedis but there are fears the money could be mismanaged.
In spite of what appears to be an attractive package, some of the workers reportedly collapsed on receiving retrenchment letters.
Civil society organizations have raised concerns about the severe effects of the misfortune of the ex-mine workers on their families.
Over 10,000 households could lose their livelihoods, which could lead many to resort to illegal mining.
The Australian High Commission in Ghana is therefore collaborating with local NGO, Community Empowerment Associates (CEA), to ensure efficient utilization of the miners’ money.
Deputy Head of Mission, Timothy Millikan, says beneficiaries will be equipped with the requisite business advisory and entrepreneurial services.
“We need to help you help yourself by [offering] you training and education through organization like CEA to give you the skills to look at other alternatives. Mining will come back and sometimes in different forms,” Mr Millikan said, adding “we need to help you look at other options to bring up ideas about how to use your severance pay”.
The 40,000 US dollar initiative is supported by AngloGold Ashanti, under Business Livelihood Support Services for Mining Communities Affected by Mining Worker Retrenchments.
It is being implemented in nine African countries, including Ghana.
Mr. Millikan indicated that monitoring mechanisms would be deployed to ensure that both monetary and other resources are not misappropriated.
Team Leader of project partners, Community Empowerment Associates, Bright Wireko Brobbey says the 12-month project has begun with dialoguing based on it appropriate measures will be tailored for the requisite assistance.
Story by Ghana/Luv Fm/Prince Appiah