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08.09.2005 General News

Govt urged to resource institutions regulating mining

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Accra, Sept. 8, GNA - Mr Dramani Abdulai, Environment Programme Officer of the Third World Network, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO), on Thursday urged the Government to resource institutions that regulated the mining industry.

He said mining affected three key sectors - the economy, human rights and the environment - hence the need for laws to protect mining communities.

Mr Abdulai, made the statement at a workshop in Accra on mining and human rights, organised by Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN) Ghana, an affiliate of the FIAN international based in Germany. The workshop was aimed at giving mining communities in the country the opportunity to learn about their rights, particularly the rights to food and potable water, was attended by representatives from some of the mining communities.

Mr Abdulai said though mining companies were to protect the environment, there had been huge destruction of environmental resources, which affected the livelihoods in mining communities. He said the voices of people living in mining communities must be heard before the Mining Bill was passed.

Representatives from the mining communities complained about their plight saying resettlement promised by mining companies were not granted; their water bodies polluted; their farmlands taken away from them without the payment of commensurate compensation resulting in unemployment.

The Policy Director of FIAN, Germany, Ms Ute Hausmann said the organisation served as a liaison between the mining companies and the mining communities.

She said the organisation in conjunction with Wassa Community Affected by Mining (WACAM) was to address the problems facing the mining communities and to find measures to solve them.

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