Director in-charge of Advocacy and Communications of Wacam, an environmental and human rights mining advocacy non-governmental organisation (NGO), Mr. Boakye Dankwa Boadi, has urged chiefs and land owners in mining communities in the country to continue to reject all forms of inducements from multi-national mining companies seeking to engage in irresponsible mining activities.

According to him, financial and other forms of inducements, when allowed from the multi-national mining companies could destroy their dignity and strip them of the respect and reverence they carried before their people and the rest of the world.

Mr. Boadi, who is a former Supervising Editor of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) gave this advice when he was answering questions at a two- day gender workshop on mining which was organized by Wacam in collaboration with, IBIS and DKA in Tema for the representatives of the various mining communities in Eastern Region.

The workshop was aimed at sensitizing all women and youth in mining communities on their rights and responsibilities.

The event, which brought together forty (40) participants from mining communities in the Eastern Region, was also aimed at developing women and youth capacity to be part of the decision making and also strengthen their involvement in community development.

He noted that the changing times of the world had subjected various offices, including that of the chiefs, to incessant financial influence.

Furthermore, people would come under the guise of modernization with all forms of assistance which sometimes caught the chiefs off guard, he said, adding that it was important that the chiefs in the mining communities continue to stand their ground to protect the dignity of their office and consolidate the respect they commanded.

He commended the chiefs for repelling such influences, noting however that sometimes, ?there are some who fall prey to it. If anybody wants to provide some financial inducement or to assist, it will have to be done properly without undermining the dignity of your throne and your chieftaincy.?

?You are the ones who are watching the changes that are taking place. Some of you can accommodate the changes from westernization and so on and so forth. But none of this must be made to go to the extent of undermining your dignity.?

He made reference to the situation when the residents in the various mining communities find it extremely difficult to deal with multi-national mining companies due to the fact that they do not have enough capacity or have limited capacity to engage these highly connected multi-national mining companies.

This, according to him, call for the urgent need for capacity building that will mitigate these outlined challenges that mining communities are confronted with as result of extortion of natural resources within their environment.

STORY: KORYEKPOR AWLESU FREEMAN

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