06.04.2005 Regional News

Involve communities in development process

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Tarkwa (w/r), April 6, GNA - Professor Dominic Fobih, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, has appealed to mining companies to involve communities in their catchment areas in the provision of facilities to them.

He said knowing and providing social needs of the communities would enable those communities appreciate the efforts of the mining companies.

Professor Fobih said in the spirit of corporation and understanding, communities and companies should chart a common course leading to peaceful co-existence. He said this at his maiden meeting with the management of Bogoso

Gold Limited at Bogoso yesterday.

Professor Fobih urged the companies to engage communities in constant interaction in absence of which breeds agitation and speculations.

He said owing to modern technology, many community members are not employed and called for a second look at its stand, because community members also think that they should earn a living. To this end, Professor Fobih said BGL should consider employing some community members and train them.

"Living up to social responsibilities and embarking on Alternative Livelihood Programme are good but BGL has a long way to go in the provision of employment to the local people', he added.

Touching on galamsey activities, Professor Fobih said small-scale mining groups would be registered and their activities regularised. Mr Peter Bradford, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Star Resources, of which BGL is a subsidiary in a presentation, said illegal mining causes depletion of resources, contamination of community water system, which affects the health of the people because of the application of mercury in gold recovery among others.

He therefore, appealed to the government to assist in solving the galamsey problem at Bogoso and Prestea.

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