A Sunyani-based Non-GovernmentalOrganisation, Environmental Youth Ambassadors (EYA) has kick started a programme meant to sensitize some Communities in the Ahafo region on the effects of Mining.
Under the Theme, Campaigning Against Social And Environmental Impunity by Mining, EYA carried the sensitization programme to communities including Techere, Yamfo and Afrisipa and was facilitated by Mr. Perez Ofori a Lecturer at the University for Development Studies(UDS) Wa campus, Faculty of Land Management and Planning.
The Programme is being supported by Global Greengrants Fund (GGF), a global donor organization based in USA.
It was noted that ,Newmont, one of the Mining Giants in the Country will soon be operating in the aforementioned communities and the mining activities are expected to last for 13 years.
EYA started the campaign by visiting the communities, joined the congregation of some churches including Church of Pentecost at Techere and Roman Catholic Church at Afisipa to educate them on how to secure their farmlands from mining companies.
Mr. Perez Ofori stated that, “it’s a blessing to discover minerals in your community but when care is not taken, it will bring curse to the community where water bodies, farmlands and forest will spoiled as a result”.
In educating the land owners, Mr. Ofori said when the time comes and the mining company approaches them with an agreement, they should not take it lightly as they have to look at the future consequences. He advised them to take actions that would benefit them in the future. He also advised tem not to focus on the compensation the company may give them because they could lose their lands forever to the company.
Furthermore, he urged the youth not to engage themselves in the mining but should focus on their education.
He mentioned that, one can permanently secure a job in the mining company if he/she is in possession of the required certificate in BSc. Land Management, BSc Real Estate Management, BSc Natural Resource Management ETC.
“Mining company can provide a job opportunity to a few of the youth by engaging them in carpentry, contracting and Mason which will not last long but with a highest certificate you can secure a permanent job”. He stressed.
On their Part, participants lauded EYA for their effort to sensitize them on such relevant issues and pledged that they would put the knowledge they absorbed into good practice.
They also appealed to EYA to educate their traditional rulers since they are the first point of call when the mining companies arrive in the communities.
In order to widening the educational campaign and to touch a sizable number of people in the affected communities, the group also used the various community information centers to spread the message. Sompa Information center Susanso, Promise Information Center at Afrisipa and Two Brothers Information Center at Yamfo were actively used for the education.
Mr. Evans Kyeremeh, Leader of EYA thanked participants for honouring invitation and for embracing the training. He pleaded with the participants to help him applaud GGF for their immense support.