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24.01.2006 Health

Prof Fobi inaugurates Obotan clinic

By GNA

Manso-Nkran (Ash), Jan 24, GNA - Professor Dominic Fobi, the Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, has lauded the cordial relationship that exists between Resolute Amansie Limited (RAL) based at Manso-Nkran in the Amansie West District and the communities in which it operates.

He said the cordial relationship was commendable because of what existed elsewhere in the country where some communities were at loggerheads with mining companies operating there. The minister was speaking at the inauguration of the Obotan Clinic and nurses quarters and girls' dormitory block for the Adubia Secondary School at Manso-Adubia on Monday.

The inauguration of the facilities formed part of his three-day visit to the mining company to inspect the reclaimed areas. The two projects were funded by Resolute Amansie and supplemented with communal labour by the communities.

Prof Fobi said the country was getting a bad image as a result of illegal mining activities that had led to misunderstandings and confrontations between mining companies and illegal miners. The worry of the mining companies, he said, stemmed from the fact that after they had acquired their concessions, illegal miners enter the concessions to carry out their activities. The Minister told the people that the government had made it possible for small-scale miners to come together and apply for concession.

He asked Resolute Amansie to consider providing the clinic with power either from the national electricity grid or from solar energy.

Mr Edwin Allotey Acquaye, Chief Executive Officer of Resolute Amansie, said the clinic was the result of the desire of the four communities close to the mine site, Manso-Nkran, Koninase, Kwancheabo and Dadease, to have health facilities close to them.

Mr Allotey Acquaye said the construction of the nurses' quarters was the result of an appeal made by Dr Kofi Asare, Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services when he visited the clinic. He said the projects showed that when a mine was no longer in production it did not mean that it had finished work on its concessions and should therefore give way to illegal mining activities.

Dr Asare called on mining companies to adopt and support the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the areas where they operate. ''Respiratory diseases afflict the miners and as a result the schemes would spend huge sums of money on them. The schemes will collapse if mining companies fail to support the District Mutual Health Insurance schemes in areas where they operate.''

A representative of the communities expressed their appreciation to the company for the assistance it had given them particularly in the areas of education, health and water.

He pleaded with the company to give them a little bit of the land on which they are not operating to enable them to grow foodstuffs for consumption.

Prof Fobi had earlier toured some of the reclaimed sites as well as the fishponds, the citronella plant and an experimental farm on a reclaimed land that has been used to grow cocoa and food crops. Mrs Rita Tani Iddi, the Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Miss Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and some officials from the ministry accompanied him. 25 Jan 06

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