Atronsu Community Mining Takes Off
Residents of Atronso and its surrounding communities in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly in the Western North Region will now have a great sigh of relief for jobs, following the launch of the Atronsu-Ampenkrom Community Mining Scheme.
The initiative, which was commissioned last Friday, November 18, by Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, is projected to create 2,000 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs for the community folk.
Speaking at the launch, the Deputy Minister said, in the face of economic turmoil triggered by global factors, the government has remained faithful to its promise to create jobs by creating a more responsible and sustainable mining model.
“We are experiencing a global economic crisis. It’s not only Ghana, it’s everywhere in the world. God has blessed us with gold and it is creating jobs for us,” he said.
Mr. Duker, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP)for Tarkwa-Nsuaem Constituency, deflects criticism that government has mismanaged the economy, stressing that the situation could have been worse, had it not been for the homegrown policies instituted by the Akufo-Addo administration.
He disclosed that government is committed to sanitizing the small-scale mining sector because of the enormous benefits it offers the country.
According to him, whereas large-scale mining companies employ over 30,000 Ghanaians, the small-scale mining sector employs more than a million Ghanaians.
The Deputy Minister said it is for this reason that despite calls for government to shutdown the sector, it has remained steadfast in sanitizing it, instead of shutting it down.
He noted that Act 703 permits Ghanaians to engage in small-scale mining and that it employs over 1miilion Ghanaians.
“I will never call for the banning of small-scale mining. The Community Mining Scheme will create jobs for the youth in the community, but that does not mean we must destroy our waterbodies. We must all support government and protect our river bodies,” he stressed.
In a message to the community and its leadership, he cautioned them against allowing foreign involvement in the scheme and also urged to protect the waterbodies in the area.
He called for collaborative efforts between the public and the government to protect the country’s rich mineral resources.
Mr. Duker outlined measures instituted by government to fight the illegal mining menace,which include the recruitment of 300 river-guards to provide permanent patrol on waterbodies, procurement of speedboats for patrol on waterbodies and the registration and tracking of all earth-moving equipment in the country.
On his party, the MP for Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai, Alfred Obeng Boateng, said the fight to safeguard Ghana’s resources requires the support of all.
He underscored the importance of the Community Mining Scheme for the youth in the area and
commended the ministry for the efforts.