Nkoranza chiefs bare teeth at gold miners

Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom IV, Paramount chief of Nkoranza Traditional Area

Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom IV, Paramount chief of Nkoranza Traditional Area

The chiefs and people of the Nkoranza Traditional area in the Brong Ahafo Region have vowed to deal with anyone who comes to mine gold in the area.

They said they would resist anyone who attempts to prospect for gold in the area, stressing that “any individual or mining company that would dare to explore the natural resource would be summoned before the gods per the local customs of the people”.

According to them the socio-economic and environmental problems associated with mining had informed them to revolt against mining and therefore they would stick to agriculture rather than inheriting an ‘evil infested’ business.

The Akyeamehene of Nkoranza Traditional Council, Nana Effah Amoako II stated this during a sensitisation workshop for traditional leaders in the Nkoranza Traditional area.

“We don’t have the financial muscle to litigate with any mining firm but we have our local lawyers who work to perfection before we even pay them, they are our gods. At most, we only need bottles of schnapps and a sheep for justice,” he emphasised.

The workshop was organised by WACAM, an NGO;  to school the Chiefs and Queen mothers on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Directives on mining and how to apply them in their communities to reduce the negative impact of mining.

Mrs. Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, Associate Executive Director of WACAM repeated a call for government and relevant stakeholders to consider amendment of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).

She said the Act in its current state was full of gaps that “protect foreign investment interest in line with the concept of extractivism as against sovereign interest.”

“The law is silent on cyanide spillages and chemical pollution of water bodies. Determination of cost has been a problem, investors do not absorb all cost of mining, especially civil, political, environmental, socio-cultural and economic rights violation from
mining,” she stated.

Mrs. Owusu-Koranteng further advocated the internalisation of the ECOWAS Directives on mining to help sanitise the mining industry in the country.
From Daniel Dzirasah, Nkoranza

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