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FoN to intensify education on Mineral Development Fund in mining communities

Friends of the Nation (FoN), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), said it will intensify education on the use of the Mineral Development Fund to avert any misunderstanding that might arise between the assemblies and mining communities.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator of FoN, Nana Efua Ewur, gave the assurance when the NGO, with assistance from Oxfam, organised a stakeholder’s engagement for mining firms, mining communities and Assemblymembers at Samahu in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western North Region.

The project dubbed ‘Fair for all,’ is looking at the extractive sector, MDF for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), it’s impact and utilisation as stated by the Act.

Residents of Samahu, who attended the event, expressed anger at the Assembly’s failure to establish a project with their share of the Mineral Development Fund (MDF) to provide them some benefits.

Nana Ewur explained that although the Assembly received funds, it was not enough, considering the s
everal communities in deprived areas that needed urgent attention.

‘Samahu is part of Gold Fields host communities, and you receive support in diverse ways, so the Assembly will channel any available funding to develop other communities,’ she said.

‘When the Assembly prepares its Medium-Term Development Plan, it captures the needs of every community, and those within the operational areas of mining companies usually get support from them.’

The Tufuhene (sub-chief) of Samahu, Mr Abdul Fataw, expressed displeasure as to why the Assembly had not initiated a single project from the MDF for the residents.

He said Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL), Tarkwa Mine, provided all their needs, which ranged from classroom blocks, community centres, teachers’ quarters, pipe borne water, rehabilitation of portions of roads, provision of health facilities, learning and teaching materials.

‘We are living within the Mines operational area, so we need to have a fair share of the MDF,’ he said.

Mr Michael Acheampong Appiah,
the Municipal Planning Officer, Prestea Huni-Valley, said in terms of direct projects nothing had been done out of the MDF, because most of the community’s needs had been catered for by the Mine.

He said the Mine normally undertook development projects in collaboration with the Assembly, with reference to the needs assessment, through which it provided support.

The residents, however, asked the Assembly to fence the town park as it was too close to the Tarkwa-Bogoso highway to serve as protection, and renovate the basic school block constructed by Gold Fields.

Source: Ghana News Agency