A seven-member Birim North Local Management Committee to implement mining community development schemes under the Mineral Development Fund was on Wednesday inaugurated at New Abirem in the Eastern Region.
A seed capital of GH1 million was presented to the committee to implement projects to improve the socioeconomic lives of the people.
The Mineral Development Fund (MDF) law was passed by Parliament in 2016 to provide financial resources for the direct benefits of mining communities, holders of interest in lands within mining communities, traditional authorities, local government authorities within mining communities, and institutions responsible for development mining in the country.
The passage of the MDF necessitated the formation of Local Management Committee (LMC) to administer the fund, which was previously lodged and managed through the Consolidated Fund.
“Today marks the beginning of the change we are all looking out for. It is time mining communities to see the worth of minerals exploited from t heir soil,’ Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, Minister of Land and Natural Resources said at the inauguration ceremony.
He said the ministry was collaborating with the Ministry of Finance to stop the 12 per cent capping effects on mineral royalties, adding that the schemes to be implemented would, among others, “eliminate youth agitations and uplift the face of New Abirem into the long desired Gold City.”
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh hinted of Mineral Development Achievement Awards to reward mining companies who contributed highly to fund, the best LMCs, the most complied beneficiary institutions and individuals who made significant contribution to the fund.
Swearing into office the members of the committee, Ms Esther Happy Edjeani, Board Chairperson, Minerals Development Fund said the board had identifies 20 sustainable livelihood interventions for various mining communities to venture into.
Some of the livelihood schemes are oil palm processing, agric equipment leasing, small cargo transport services for farmers, school feeding programme market-aggregator opportunity and household electric appliances.
She said the board would make available the schemes to guide LMC in selecting the appropriate livelihood schemes for the board to consider.
The board chair expressed the commitment to cooperate with the LMC to undertake interventions to improve the living conditions of the people.
BY TIMES REPORTER