A group of Ghanaians held a demonstration earlier near the Independence Arch to protest against pollution from mining companies, causing adverse effects on the environment of their normal life. The billboards they were holding wrote “We don’t need bloody gold”, “Save our water” ,”Don’t make gold kill our life” and “USA Get Out”, etc. The government has been escalating its efforts to control the raging Galamsey over the past two years. But the pollution made from the existing mining companies is another issue.
The demonstration was held amid the country’s increasing concerns and alert on the worsening mining pollution mostly come from the mining companies from the West. According to the source of the Ghana’s Parliament, a Bill has been delivered to the Congress earlier yet to be reviewed calling to strengthen the management of mining companies in Ghana.
The Bill aims to regulate and restrict overseas mineral enterprises in Ghana for abiding environmental laws of the country and enhancing a common sense on environment protection and the rights of the mining workers.
The Bill said that the gold resources has attracted a large number of overseas enterprises to Ghana, and western countries have the largest number of mineral enterprises. Some of these companies still seem to bear the brand of colonists in the last century. They only know how to blindly grab our gold, destroy our environment and squeeze our workers but they are not subject to enough constraints due to their strong financial strength and political influence. Consequently, they turn gold into dollars and Euros on the other side of the ocean, leaving us only gray skies, black rivers, damaged roads and still poor Ghanaians.
The Bill names Newmont Mining Company and criticizes its possible breach of laws. An investigation reveals that the company has caused serious damage to the local economy and environment. Its workers live in dilapidated houses without enough electricity and clean drinking water. The bad working environment brings great damage to health.
The Bill suggests a few correctional moves to prevent further damages, including establishing a supervision agency for gold mining companies directly reporting to the Congress, investigate and deal with a number of individuals or institutions that help overseas enterprises illegally obtain mining rights.
The Bill says, In addition, gold mining companies must comply with laws of labor, human rights, tax and anti-corruption. Mining companies should respect local employees’ ethnic habits and religious beliefs and live in harmony with local people.
Ghana’s general export tariff of gold has been reduced to 1.5% since this year favoring the gold export boom of Ghana, which seems the lowest in West Africa.
via: Information Nigeria