Processes for payment of compensation to affected mining communities unfair – Research

Research conducted on compensation and reset­tlement of people affected by the operations of Newmont Ahafo Mine has raised issues about the processes leading to the payment of compensation to affected inhabitants.

The affected persons, accord­ing to the research, described the processes involved in the payment of their compensation as well as resettlement as “unfair” as there were no meaningful consultations between them and Newmont regarding the exercise.

Dr Abdulai Darimani of the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani, who con­ducted the research, was therefore calling for reforms in the min­ing sector to ensure meaningful consultations with community members and land owners ahead of assessment, determination and payment of compensations as well as resettlement arrangements.

The research was facilitated by the Livelihood & Environment Ghana (LEG) and Third World Network -Africa under ‘The Pow­er of Voices Project’, with funding support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Dr Darimani, who is a lecturer at the Department of Environ­mental Management of UENR, said there was the urgent need to formalise issues relating to decla­ration of moratorium on mining concessions as well as timelines for negotiations and the payment of crop and land compensations.

He proposed a national dialogue on the matter to properly stream­line issues raised by mineral right holders and communities on speculative activities.

At the validation workshop on the research held in Sunyani, the Executive Director of Livelihood & Environment Ghana, Richard Adjei-Poku, said the Ahafo part of the country, just like most oth­er mining areas, had not benefitted from the exploitation of their natural resources.

He decried the high level of deprivation in Newmont’s host communities, Ahafo North and South, especially with regards to unemployment, hunger and pov­erty levels and social vices, among others.

“When a minimum day mark of a junior staff in Newmont is around GH¢ 334.00 (USD$ 25.69) plus bonuses and when a mini­mum redeployment package of a junior staff in Newmont is GH¢ 500,000.00 i.e., 5 billion old Gha­na Cedis (UDS$ 38,462) as against a one-time payment of compensa­tion of GH¢ 25,000 (USD$ 1,923) for an acre of a matured teak farm for farmers whose properties and lands were been destroyed to pave way for the mining?” he asked.

He said his outfit in partnership with Third World Network-Af­rica was determined to use the research findings as an advocacy tool and a model to champion community rights in Ahafo and beyond.

Livelihood & Environment Ghana (LEG) is a not-for-profit and non-governmental organisa­tion established in 2004 in Ahafo Kenyasi No.2 in response to the growing environmental threats and human rights violations resulting from the operations of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited.


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