Hannah Owusu-Koranteng

The Associate Executive Director of WACAM, Mrs. Hannah Owusu-Koranteng has said, irresponsible mining activities in the country over the past three decades have brought about detrimental effects on the lives and the development of the country.

Mrs. Owusu-Koranteng indicated that, the country had been too flexible with its mining regulatory laws governing mining activities which has paved way for many investors into the country and thus, we are faced with these irresponsible mining canker.

She said, their irresponsible activities has resulted in the loss of livelihood, displacement of about 100,000 landlords, pollution of many rivers, the exacerbation of poverty in mining communities, destruction of forest reserves, destruction of many ancestral heritage and to name a few.

It is in the wake of this that she condemned the assumption that, because the large multinational mining companies are regulated, their activities does not desecrate the environment.

According to Mrs. Hannah, all irresponsible mining activities must be regarded as “Galamsey”, whether large or small scale mining company. Adding that, today, we are being faced with a lot of challenges like pollution of rivers, destruction of the environment and creating serious social and environmental problems, thanks to irresponsible mining activities.

She said this at a workshop organized by WACAM for journalists, held in Accra dabbed; “Amplifying Community Voices for Responsible Mining, the Role of the Media.”

Mrs. Koranteng further noted that, the workshop is aimed to create opportunities for media personnel and like-minded stakeholders to be able to ensure there is sanity in the mining sector through accurate recommendations that would deeply feed into government’s action policies.

She said, it’s about time journalists wakes up and widen their scope of the fight against illegal mining activities in the country which is destroying the environment and dwindling the economic activities.

According to her, the influx of multinational mining companies was associated with large redundancies in the existing underground mining activities and went in solidarity with the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) in matters relating to the redundancy of 1,700 workers of Gold Fields Ghana Limited.

She however expressed worries about the decision to declare 1,700 workers redundant in her opinion was motivated by the desire of the company to over reap profit, and therefore called on Ghanaians to support GMWU’s fight against the redundancy of the 1,700 workers who have families and dependents to cater for.

“We wish to remind Goldfields Ghana Limited and all mining companies in the country that it has benefited from the windfall profits for many years which has been repatriated to shareholders outside Ghana.

“The company cannot use current operational problems to justify the decision to declare the workers redundant,” Mrs. Koranteng emphasised.

In attendance were Dr. Doris Yaa Dartey, a Communications Consultant, Mr. Isaac Abraham of minerals commission, representatives of care international, journalists drawn from across the regions and many others.

By:Sammy Adjei/Newsghana.com.gh

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