Three CSOs implement project to tackle irresponsible mining

By Dennis Peprah/Christopher Tetteh

Kenyase Number Two, (A/R), May 15, GNA – Three environmentally inclined Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has launched a three-year project to tackle irresponsible mining and the attendant devastating impact in the country.

The CSOs, Wacam, Roacha Ghana, and the Nature and Development, with funding from the European Union (EU) are implementing the “Building Resilient and Active Communities in Extractive (BRACE) project which further sought to promote human rights and responsible governance in the nation’s extractive sector.

It would be in Eastern, Ashanti, Western North, Western and Ahafo Regions, to put the nation on the edge in achieving sustainable and equitable environmental management and good natural resources governance.

Mrs Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, the Associate Executive Director, Wacam, launched the project implementation at Kenyase Number One, a mining community in the Asutifi North District of the Ahafo Region, She explained the project marked the beginning of a strategic partnership to develop the required synergies to “address the continuous sufferings of mining communities.”

These sufferings manifested in polluted environment, water bodies and air which has serious health implications on mining communities and loss of economic livelihoods, she stated. Mrs Owusu-Koranteng said the implementation of the project would see effective collaboration between CSOs working in the extractive sector, and key mining industry players and stakeholders.

They would work together in ensuring that mining companies strictly adhere to human rights provisions, respect community rights as well as environmental rights and the nation’s mining and mineral governance.

Mrs Owusu-Koranteng observed that the devastating impact of irresponsible mining, including destruction of water bodies, and forest resources were clearly seen in the country, which required concerted and realistic approach to tackle.

The government mining policy leaves mining communities with no option than to surrender their farmlands to mining companies, thus exacerbating their vulnerability and displacement, she stated.

In an overview, Mrs Owusu-Koranteng said the project would further empower some selected stakeholders to hold institutions accountable over environmental damage, poor governance, and environmental rights violations.

The project would also develop capacity of stakeholders as Community Para-legals to use community-based courtroom advocacy to seek redress over natural resources violations and governance. It would further lobby and seek redress over environmental rights violations by using Ghana’s Business and Human Rights Action Plan and complementary initiatives by end of 2025.

Additionally, the project was designed to strengthen local environmental protection and natural resources management through capacity development of CREMAs Executive Committee that would implement their action plans with mining communities for sustainable natural resources use.

Mrs Owusu-Koranteng said the project beneficiary communities were expected to receive legal services through the community paralegals, community-based courtroom advocacy and legal access fund.

Mr Massimo Mina, the Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Ghana, said, “for us, promoting good governance and green growth are our priorities in Ghana”, saying “our goal is to create a platform for inclusive decision-making, where the voices of marginalised communities are amplified and their rights heard and respected.”