Mining Companies Should Deepen Community Engagement – WANEP
The West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP) has expressed concern about the recurring confrontation and conflict between mining companies and the mining communities.
Mr. Albert Yelyang, its National Network Coordinator, said that was deeply disturbing and should not continue.
The companies should move quickly to deepen their community engagement – participatory development practices, to bring about transparency and promote good understanding.
He was speaking at a day’s stakeholders conference on mineral resource governance held at the gold mining town of Obuasi.
It was under the theme “Enhancing natural resource governance and community peace and security through dialogue” and brought together, miners, police officers, private security companies, assembly members and civil society groups.
The programme was organized by WANEP with support from the Fund for Peace.
Mr. Yelyang noted that confusion between companies in the extractive industry and the communities, where they had been operating often resulted from the failure to properly engage the communities to address their felt needs and concerns.
He reminded everybody about the need to accept to use dialogue to resolve whatever grievances they had.
“Violence is never the best option in solving problems and should be rejected by all.”
He also called for proper monitoring, accountability and transparency in the distribution of mineral royalties.
He added that that it was important that the people got to know how these royalties were being used.
He applauded the joint military/police taskforce assigned the job of checking illegal mining for good work it was doing and asked the officers to continue to remain professional in the performance of their duties.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abdulai Amadu, the Obuasi Municipal Commander, appealed to the people to give strong backing to the security agencies to rein in illegal miners.