The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), has expressed concern about the poor infrastructure development in mining communities.
It has, therefore, urged firms in the extractive sector not only to focus on their profits, but to undertake development projects and other social intervention initiatives for the people living in such communities.
The Head of Monitoring and Evaluation of ACEP, Mabel Acquaye, at a seminar for selected journalists in the Eastern Region at Koforidua last Friday, posited that although minerals and other natural resources were extracted in such communities, the level of poverty and deprivation in such areas were so high.
She said even non-mining communities were better-off compared to those in the mining areas in terms of development projects.
The seminar was to expose the journalists on the activities of the extractive industry to enable them to effectively report on the issue.
It was also to build the capacities and skills of journalists and media practitioners to track and report on minerals revenue management in Ghana.
Mrs Acquaye said it was ironic that although the communities had natural wealth, the mining communities lacked basic social amenities such as safe drinking water, decent classroom blocks and good roads among others.
She said people living in the extractive communities were mainly impoverished farmers, some of whose farmlands had even been taken from them for mining purposes, and therefore, it had become necessary to support them so that the mining activities would not render them poorer.
The revenue accrued from mining, she explained, was not reaching the inhabitants, a situation which should not be the case.
He further explained that such a situation negatively affected the socio-economic development of the people in the mining communities.
Mrs Acquaye, therefore, underscored the need for media participation in the activities of the extractive industry, highlighting the problems of the people living there to be addressed.
That, she indicated, would help solve inherent challenges to enable the people in the mining communities to fully benefit from the extraction of the minerals.
The Policy Lead-Petroleum and Conventional Energy of ACEP, Kodzo Yaotse, on his part, explained the distribution of revenue accrued from mining and said some of the revenue went to Local Government Authority such as the traditional councils for community development and stool lands which were accounted for.
He said some of the monies given to the specific outfits were in millions of cedis and it had come to a point to demand accountability of such monies.
“The monies are being used to provide potable water, schools among others for the benefit of people living in mining communities”, Mr Yaotse stressed.
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