Accra, Nov. 9, GNA - Members of Parliament (MPs) have deplored the irresponsible manner in which certain mining companies polluted and desecrated water bodies in their areas of operation. They have, therefore, called for strict monitoring and enforcement of environmental protection laws to protect the country's environment. Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bandua, Member for Biakoye, had made a statement on the negative effects on mining on host communities.Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Member for Tamale South, condemned mining companies that took host communities for granted. "When they build a school block and donate some few cedi notes they go about saying that they have helped the community when they have taken so much from it and destroyed their land and water bodies." He called for the withdrawal of the Minerals and Mining Bill, which he said, had not taken the plight of host communities into consideration. The Minority Spokesman on Communications accused the Mines and Energy Committee for not doing enough to collate the views and anxieties of the mining communities. Mrs Esther Obeng Dapaah, Member for Abirem, called for the use of independent valuers in the acquisition and computation of compensation for mining communities.
She asked that any future acquisition of mining concessions should take into consideration the social, economic and cultural cost of losing such tracts of land.
Mrs Obeng Dapaah asked that host-mining communities should be prepared psychologically on the new kind of life they would be having when mining becomes part of their daily life.
"There should be a clear and concise conflict resolution mechanism to resolve the conflicts that come between mining companies and host communities."
Prof Dominic Fobih, Minister of Land, Forestry and Mines, said, "the whole story about mining should be told."
He said although mining might have created some problems in host communities, its contribution to the economy could not be ignored. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in its report: "Economic Development in Africa. Rethinking the Role of Foreign Direct Investment" made available to the GNA said: "A calculation based on 2003 Government figures of the total value of mineral exports juxtaposed to income (revenue) derived from mineral taxes shows that Ghana earned only about five per cent of the total value of exports - about 46.7 million dollars out of a total mineral export value of 893.6 million dollars."