Two community mining sites at Mbaampehia in the Ahanta West Municipality and Kwabre in the Jomoro Municipality have respectively been commissioned to ensure responsible and sustainable small-scale mining in the Western Region.
At the commissioning, Mireku Duker – Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, noted that irresponsible and unregulated mining activities have destroyed water-bodies and the environment. “We cannot continue to look on for those who drink from streams to die from both chemical and human waste dumped into water-bodies and the environment,” he said.
According to him, such harmful behaviour has resulted in kidney, liver and other dreaded diseases, and there is a need for collaboratives effort to end it.
He said the community mining concept has come to stay, explaining that: “Government can never hate mining; we need responsible ones to ensure our water-bodies and environment are devoid of reckless activities”.
Mr. Duker urged the communities to own the mine and help it to grow for their benefit. He mentioned that government has acquired Commodity Monitor Equipment to save about 95 percent of the gold ore. “Very soon, we will present one to the communities; the Minerals Commission is also well-informed and will come from time to time to help you do your work well,” he added.
Henrietta Mary Eyison, Municipal Chief Executive of Ahanta West said: “The community mining project is a key intervention measure to create wealth for the local people while preserving the environment”.
Ebenzer Kojo Kum, Member of Parliament for Ahanta West, pointed out that over 3,000 people are expected to benefit from the site with its ripple-effects on the local economy.
Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minster, said maps and necessary documentation have been undertaken to ascertain suitability. Already, he said, the sector responsible has approved and encouraged the communities to mine responsibly.
Ernest Kwofie, MCE for Jomoro, expressed gratitude to government for such an economic intervention to boost livelihoods of the people. He said the assembly will collaborate with relevant agencies – especially the EPA, Minerals Commission and others – for sustainability of the community mines.