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Littoral:The mayor of Mombo, Janvier Kunde, has passed awayInclude women in developing mining policies – Mrs Owusu-Koranteng

By Charity Nginyu

The Littoral Region of Cameroon is mourning the loss of one of its leaders Janvier Kunde, the Mayor of Mombo, who has passed away.

Reports have it that Janvier Kunde, a member of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), succumbed to illness on Friday, March 8, 2024.

In a communique dated Monday, March 11, 2024, the Senior Divisional Officer for Moungo, Yves Bertrand officially announced the passing away of Janvier Kunde.

‘The Senior Divisional Officer of the Moungo Division has deep regret to announce the death of Mr. KUNDE Janvier, Mayor of the Municipality of Mombo, which occurred on Friday, March 8, 2024, following a long illness,’ the communique partly read.

He went ahead to address his condolences to the family of the local administrative authority, and that of the Minister of Decentralization and Local Development.

News of his passing has reverberated throughout the region, with many expressing their condolences and fond memories of the late mayor.

Members of various political parties
, including the Cameroonian Socialist Party (SDF), after being informed of his demise, converged at his residence to pay their respects and offer support to Janvier Kunde’s family.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

The Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) has called for the inclusion and effective participation of women in policy development and implementation in mining communities.

Mrs Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, the Associate Executive Director of WACAM, who made the call, said women were more vulnerable in mining communities, hence the need for their active participation in developing regulatory frameworks to protect their wellbeing and that of the children.

Speaking at the 2024 International Women’s Day celebration at Bibiani in the Western North Region, she said it was sad that no concrete provisions had been made in regulatory frameworks in the mining sector to protect women.

The programme was organised by SOKODEVI- Ghana, a non-profit organisation, in partnership with A Rocha Ghana and the Friedrick-Ebert-Stiftung (FES).

It aims to discuss and advance women-inclusive safeguarding for a sustainable environment and mineral governance.

Some of the topics discussed were how to address women’s
vulnerabilities to unregulated mining in Ghana, the role of stakeholders, livelihood sustainability and environmental nexus: exploring strategies for mitigating vulnerabilities and enhancing environmental safeguards.

Mrs Owusu-Koranteng said it was an undeniable fact that the challenges that women faced in the mining communities were vastly different from the challenges of men.

It was, therefore, important that the need for women to be included in such discussions to address their challenges was elucidated.

On the regulatory structures of mining, Mrs Owusu Koranteng pointed out that Ghana had a very weak framework and stressed the need to strengthen measures to back those regulations.

‘You see, people acquire licenses but when it comes to respecting the rights of citizens and respecting the rights of laws, they do not do so and go about harassing community people instead of negotiating and paying compensation,’ she said.

‘The regulators are not on top of their businesses, if they had been up to their tas
k, we would not have such huge environmental issues in the country.’

Mrs Owusu-Koranteng said it was, therefore, important that citizens understood issues on mining laws and regulations to help them demand proper accountability from the state.

Ms Martha Mensah, the Lead of the SOKODEVI Together Project, said looking at mining communities the organisation operated in, galamsey had had a negative impact, particularly on women.

‘Water bodies have been destroyed, cocoa farms have been cut down for illegal mining activities and the repercussions have been that women have to walk long distances to get water.’

The other thing was the prevalence of diseases with some women giving birth to abnormal babies, she said.

Source: Ghana News Agency