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General News of Friday, 21 May 2021

Source: GNA

Research report calls for responsible mining practices

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Sarah-Jane Danchie, Director, the Social Investment Consultancy (TSIC), has called for responsible mining practices for a safe environment, potable water and food security.

She said responsible mining was the internationally accepted standard of mining, which respected and protected the interest of stakeholders, upholding human health and the environment as paramount.

Mrs Danchie said this at a stakeholder’s engagement on project outcome on promoting environmental and socially responsible artisanal and small scale mining among women in the Northern Region.

The objectives of the project were to undertake research that explored the challenges faced by women in Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) in the region for inputs into policy development and provides a series of training sessions for them on responsible mining concerning health and safety.

Responsible mining, Ms Danchie said was expected to contribute to the economic development of every country and strengthen the local community, while inculcating best practices, international or local, and upholding the rule of the law.

“Women are the most adversely impacted within the mining community who suffered adverse effects of ASM such as harmful chemicals such as dealing with mercury but they lacked understanding of its impact and some of them even work with the mercury at home amongst the women they worked with and about a third were aged between 19 and 35,” she noted.

Ms Rosemary Okla, a member of WIM in a presentation on the outcomes of the research, revealed that the women faced challenges such as the lack of access to financial support to purchase ore breaking rock and basic equipment.

According to her, the findings from research conducted at Tinga, Bole District of the Northern Region, showed that about 96 per cent of the women in ASM lacked technical knowledge and professional or artisanal skills in mining, which posed major challenges to them.

The report recommended that there should be a regulated buying centre, especially for ASM women, and a mandate by the government for every mining site to have proper sanitation facilities.

The report also called for a temporary day care centre close to the sites for children of women in ASM to enable them to work effectively as well as increased the participation of women in the Community Mining oversight committees.

It recommended that government agencies organised more sensitisation sessions for the women and provided social protection services such as National Health Insurance, Social Security and National Identification Services.

The women in ASM appealed to the government for training on environmental health, mining and safety issues.

They also appealed for start-up capitals and asked the government to regulate gold prices “properly.”

Ms Fafa Kukubor, Gender Officer, Minerals Commission, said the Commission had established a Gender and International Relations Unit which would address issues of child labour, mercury use and other international issues that bordered on women in the mining sector.

“We would incorporate the Community Mine Scheme into our scheme and provide mercury-free technologies, empower women and make sure they get the maximum benefits from their work in the sector,’’ she said.

Mrs Georgette B. Sakyi-Addo, President of WIM said technology, innovation and improvement to data and network infrastructure in remote areas if addressed, would be key in driving change and improving knowledge sharing and positively impact network conditions.

The project was conducted by TSIC and WIM Ghana and funded by the World Bank as part of its Extractive Global Programme Support (EGPS) -2 Emergency Response for Artisanal Mining Communities Impacted by COVID-19.

WIM is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) consisting of all women in mining-related fields such as industry, academia, governance, and supplies.

TSIC was founded in 2008 to impact lives and livelihoods in Africa through the promotion of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards and diversity, equity and inclusion to ensure responsible investment is connected to addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).