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EPA spearheads stakeholder meeting on safe mining in Talensi

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spearheaded a stakeholder consultative engagement in the Talensi District of Upper East Region.

The objective of this engagement was to give opportunity to community members and leaders on solutions to the mining challenges in the area.

It was also to create a platform to meet the EPA’s Environmental Assessment Regulation 1999 section 17 on public hearing.

Which stipulates that:

(1) The Agency shall hold a public hearing in respect of an application where
a.      upon a notice issued under regulation 16 there appears to be great adverse  public reaction to the commencement of the proposed undertaking;
b.     the undertaking will involve the dislocation, relocation or resettlement of  communities; or
c.      the Agency considers that the undertaking could have extensive and far  reaching effect on the environment.

This is in preparation towards Earl International Mining Company which has acquired a large scale license to kick off mining operations in the Talensi Traditional Area.

Speaking at the forum ,Paramount Chief for the Talensi Traditional Area, Tongraan Kubilsung-Nablebtang raised concerns about the creeping effects of unsafe mining which has gravely affected the natural vegetation.

Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area, Tongraan Kubilsung-Nablebtang

According to him, if the menace is not dealt immediately ,the future generation will be jeopardised.

Tongraan who is also a Council State Member is therefore advocating for large and commercial scale mining.

He opines that, commercial mining is more beneficial than artisanal mining which is destroying the environment.

“I don’t support artisanal .Artisanal mining is the small scale mining that they are digging around spoiling all our river bodies ,spoiling all our forests and we not getting anything.But I support and will support the kind of mining that will involve large scale mining where we will be in partnership with the companies involved and make sure that they do deep shaft mining such, that the surface and the river bodies or forests will not be destroyed” He explained.

Cross-section of participants

The Paramount Chief therefore indicated that ,the best way to protect the environment was to practice large scale mining.

“I think that, that is the only way we can preserve our environment and by so doing ,we will leave the trees that are up surface to grow and ensure that at least we will be able to cater for generations to come” He added.

Meanwhile,Director of Mining at EPA, Engineer Ransford Sekyi has underscored the need for traditional community leaders to stamp their authority as and when the need arises to protect the environment. He also advised actors involved in mining and other environmental activities to get the requisite license before operating to ensure they go by the laid down mitigative measures in protecting the environment.

The stakeholder meeting brought together Chiefs,Land owners and other relevant authorities in Talensi District.

Cross-section of participants

Source: A1radionline.com |101.1MHz |Ghana

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