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Mined-out communities urged to embrace land reclamation effort

BY: Emmanuel Oduro
Dr Doris Abena Boateng of the National Land Reclamation Team leading the community to pledge support to the effort at Sefwi Asawinso in the Western North Region
Dr Doris Abena Boateng of the National Land Reclamation Team leading the community to pledge support to the effort at Sefwi Asawinso in the Western North Region

The National Land Reclamation Team has urged communities with mined-out lands in the Ashanti and Western North regions to embrace the project and its prospects.

The team — working under the auspices of the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme for Illegal Miners — made the appeal as it continued its community engagements for selected sites across the country.

Exercise

The National Land Reclamation Team has been undertaking a number of community engagements to communicate the effort to reclaim mined-out lands, ensure responsible mining and provide alternative livelihood opportunities for illegal miners.

Since its inauguration in 2021, the team — with membership from quasi-government institutions — has engaged a number of affected communities facilitated by various municipal and district assemblies in the Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Western North regions.

After one of such engagements, the Coordinating Director of the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Yahaya Abudu, commended the government for rallying support to safeguard the environment for posterity.

He noted that the devastation caused by illegal mining could not be overstated.

Alhaji Abudu stressed the need for all to “embrace such an essential and critical exercise” to restore the environment to its best state possible.

Communities’ support

The Deputy National Coordinator of the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme for Illegal Miners, Benedict Addae, said he was impressed with the level of participation and acceptability of the programme among the communities.

He said illegal mining was not an event that could be halted on the spur of the moment but that it required a number of strategies to be deployed on sustainable basis.

Mr Addae impressed upon the contractor and consultant to deliver value for money projects to justify the government’s investment in the intervention.

Some of the participants praised the government for the intervention.

The Adontenhemaa of Sefwi Asawinso, Nana Gyasiwaa, said they had accepted the project wholeheartedly, stressing that it would help to prevent some deaths caused by uncovered pits dug by illegal miners.

She expressed the wish that the intervention would be sustained to help address a number of challenges within areas with mined-out lands.