That mining communities in the country have not been treated fairly, with regard to development, is a fact that can hardly be contested.

In spite of the rich mineral resources that continue to be exploited by companies and the huge revenue accruing from that industry, there is virtually nothing that the ?host communities can show in the area of infrastructure.

There is no doubt that the mining companies have a responsibility to provide some of the infrastructure needs of their host communities. But the fact still remains that the greater responsibility rests on the central government and the district assemblies, which collect dividends and royalties from the mining companies.

It is in this connection that the Daily Graphic would want to take the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, by his word that the government would restore Prestea to its glorious days.

We do not want to believe that this pledge will become one of the many unfulfilled promises that governments, over the years, have made to the mining communities.

Regulated mining has existed in the country for well over 150 years but its impact on community development continues to be a major source of concern.

From Tarkwa to Obuasi, Prestea, Dunkwa, Bogoso and Akwatia, there is virtually nothing positive to show as the impact of mining on these communities.

Tarkwa, for instance, boasts about four internationally recognised mining companies but the infrastructure in the town is appalling. In Obuasi, the story is the same, if not more appalling.

Good roads, sanitation, water, schools and other projects necessary to uplift the lives of the people are non-existent or in deplorable conditions.

In many countries around the world, including South Africa, mining has transformed the communities and positively changed the lives of the people.

Even though today, mining companies do not treat socio-economic issues as peripheral to their core business, the resources channelled to development are not adequate enough to address the needs of the communities.

A lot, therefore, rests on the central government and the district assemblies to use the royalties accruing to them to undertake projects that can uplift the development process.

With the emergence of illegal mining (galamsey), ?the despicable picture painted by the communities have been compounded.

We need to take some pragmatic steps to transform all mining communities because the present corporate social responsibility initiatives are inadequate and do not impact the lives of the people positively.

Daily Graphic Saturday, 01 February 2014


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.