The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has inaugurated a Community Mining Programme in the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region.
This brings to two, community mining projects inaugurated in mining communities in the Western Region and the country as a whole after the Wassa-Akropong community mining project was inaugurated in July.
The Programme is aimed at formalising mining activities in selected communities in each of the mining Districts in the country, expected to provide employment for more than 4,500 miners who were fomerly in illegal mining activities.
The beneficiaries were trained by the Government at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa in the Western Region.
The project, would be executed in Gwira-Kutukrom,Gwira-Banso,Gwira-Eshiem,Gwira-Bamiango and Gwira-Tumandu.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng who explained the significance of the programme to the beneficiaries said proceeds would be used to develop the mining areas and the Municipality.
He said the Municipal Chief Executive, Member of Parliament for the area and the Chiefs of the mining Communities were the leaders of the Programme. "who will make sure that the beneficiary Communities Mine well".
He said "Community Mining is for the Community and the MCE, MP and Chiefs are leaders of the Committee established to take good care of the programme to make sure that the Community Mining goes well and make sure that no foreigner is involved and even allowed any foreigner to buy the gold", he emphasised.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng told the people that it was the intention of President Akufo-Addo to do domestic mining, by bringing in Communities,to belong and use the income to develop their communities and create employment.”
He said the Programme would give facelift to the Nzemaland within three and five years and urged the youth to invest with their incomes.
He advised the Programme managers to involve chiefs in whatever action they took.
The Minister assured the people that "we will mine here and refine the gold here so that the money will remain here".
Prof Frimpong-Boateng gave the assurance that monitoring teams would be put in place to educate the residents on preservation of the land to avoid accidents and the misuse of chemicals in mining.
The Member of Parliament for Evalue-Ajomoro Gwira Constituency, Mrs. Catherine Afeku, said the Gwira area where the Community Mining Programme was appropriate as the area was blessed with gold and thanked the Akufo-Addo-led government for fulfilling its pledge to develop the area.
"There is more gold on the land of Gwira area and we thank the President for opening a Community Mining in Gwira", she said.
She said the Programme would reduce unemployment in the area and urged her Constituents to support it
"I use this platform to urge all Chiefs in this Constituency to come together to fight for development, divided we fall, united we stand for development", she concluded.
The Adontenhene of Gwira Traditional Council, Nana Kpolley Akonnah IV expressed gratitude to the Akufo-Addo-led government for the Programme.
He said the Programme would create more employment in the area and gave the assurance to support it.
He commended the MP for the area, Catherine Afeku and MCE, Mr Frank Okpenyen for rolling out developmental projects and appealed to the government to expedite action in the construction of deplorable Gwira roads.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the area, Mr Frank Okpenyen said the Municipality had registered over 2,000 Community Miners although it was still going on.
He promised to work with the Chiefs to make sure the programme lasted longer to benefit them mentioning some developmental projects undertaken by the Akufo-Addo-led government in the area to include; the construction of Axim Sea Defence Wall, construction of Axim township roads, construction of Axim mini sports complex, construction of Axim fishing harbour, construction of DVLA offices.
The others were; connecting five communities to the national grid, provision of telecommunications network to some Communities in Gwira area, making the Municipality a Cocoa District for the first time and the construction of a CHPS compound.