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Mining companies violating people's rights – Wacam
 
Posted on: 18-Jun-2013         Source: GNA
 
 
 
Mining companies in the country are violating the rights of residents in mining areas, and are not paying the accurate compensation to those affected by their (companies) activities.

Mrs Hannah Owusu Koranteng, an environmental scientist and Associate Executive Director of Wacam made the remarks at a three-day workshop on mining and community rights, at Tema.

He said: “many people, who have lost their property, especially land to mining concessions, are either not paid any money or receive little compensation’’.

Mrs Koranteng blamed the situation on ‘’weak regulations and laws that have triggered a gold rush with different nationals trooping into Ghana to have their share of the wealth at the expense of the indigenous people of the mining areas’’.

She said though the Minerals and Mining Act calls for negotiated compensation for loss of land and the destruction of crops and immovable property, this was not adhered to.

Mrs Koranteng said the Act failed to take into consideration human rights violations in mining communities, and also did not make provisions for environment issues.

“The law is silent on cyanide spillage and chemical pollutions of our water bodies, which are very dangerous to the health of our people”, she said.

Mrs Koranteng observed that there was no clear demarcation between areas of active mining and water bodies and protected areas termed “no go areas” of the country.

She said the distance between settlements and mining concessions ought to be defined adding that poor environmental impact assessment could make farmers in mining communities to migrate to the cities in search of jobs. Mrs Koranteng called for the strengthening of the Mineral and Mining Law. Mr Boakye-Dankwa Boadi, Communications and Advocacy Director of Wacam charged journalists to ensure that their reportage sought to promote the wellbeing of the under privileged and the vulnerable in the country.

“You journalists are to be responsible to ensuring development and unity in the country,” he said.