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50 people in northern Ghana trained in responsible mining

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50 members of Community Action Groups from the five regions of the north have been trained on mining-related issues under phase II of the Natural Resource Accountability in Northern Ghana project by Transformation of Marginal Areas (TAMA Foundation Universal), a non-governmental organization. The training which was organized by TAMA Foundation Universal in collaboration with the Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL) was funded by the Ford Foundation. 

The 50 beneficiaries were selected from mining communities in seven districts; Bongo District and Bolgatanga Municipal in the Upper East Region, Sissala East and West Districts in the Upper West Region, the Mamprugu Moagduri District in the North East Region, Tatale in Northern Region and Bole in the Savanna Region.

The two-day training workshop that took place in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Region covered topics such as the legal framework for mining, environmental regulations, worker safety, and community participation in decision-making processes.

Jonathan Adabre, the Chief Operations Manager of TAMA Foundation Universal said the goal of the training program was to empower community leaders with knowledge and skills to effectively advocate for responsible mining practices in their communities. 

“We seek to build their capacities, let them have improved knowledge on the laws and regulations so that when a mining company enters their communities, they would be equipped with the right knowledge and attitude to engage the companies for positive mining”

He said TAMA Foundation Universal is not in any way against mining but its interest is to ensure responsible mining is carried out in the country. 

“Mining has to be done in such a way that it is a win-win situation. The community benefits, the mining company benefits, and the environment is maintained and sustained for future generations. And this is our interest”, he added.  

Mr. Adabre said the training was necessary to avoid the recurrences of clashes between community members and mining companies as it did happen in some areas of the country due to people’s lack of knowledge to approach issues when their rights are violated.

The Executive Director of the Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL), Augustine Niber sensitized the participants on areas of compensation and resettlement and the overview of the minerals and mining laws in Ghana.

“The project is intended to better equip them basically with the aspect of the laws and regulations that govern the minerals and mining sector. This is to enable them to look out for many of the pertinent issues that arise in mining-related communities. An attempt is to try to prevent the issues of mining-related conflicts that occur in other areas from happening here”, he stated. 

He said the beneficiaries are expected to hold forth to ensure that the relevant regulations relating to mining are adhered to by any mining company.  

A participant and the Acting President of the Upper East Youth Association, Adingo Francis described the training as an eye-opener and promised to implement the knowledge obtained at the community level. He had however called for a review of some mining laws to ensure that landowners and community members benefit from a reasonable percentage of minerals resources obtained.

Another participant, Osman Kanton said the training had equipped him with the rightful information to ensure that the rights of community members are rightly compensated, and resettled when a mining company enters a community.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga|Ghana

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