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BIRIM N:Increasing mining activities threatening livelihoods-Chief
As mining activities in the Birim North District increases, residents are faced with challenges of how to sustain their livelihood as the effect of giving away their lands for mining is beginning to have a toll on them.
Most communities where Newmont, the licensed mining company operating in the area has concession, large tracks of land have been acquired for mining activities.
In an exclusive interview with Ghanadistricts.com, Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh Dwamena II, chief of Hweakwae, one of the most affected communities said they have gotten to a stage where there is a need to re-think of innovative ways of giving hope to residents in the area.
According to him, a large number of residents have lost their farm lands as a result of increased mining activities. Not only is this development affecting food production but has also rendered the residents jobless.
Even though Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh Dwamena II admitted that compensations were paid to owners of those lands, he noted, most people have already spent the money either to building a house or other things.
"The main concern is, what would these people be doing for daily up keeps", he quizzed? "There should be alternative means of livelihood. Currently, there is none to many of the affected farmers", he added.
Meanwhile, as a first step, the community through the assistants from BigStep Foundation, a non governmental organization operating in the Birim North District with a branch in the Netherlands and students from Delft University in Holland have moved in to assist the youth in acquiring employable skills in technical and vocational skills.
As a result, an apprenticeship training centre has been built and expected to start in September.
However, Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh Dwamena II is calling on the government to use its social intervention programmes like Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP), Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) as well as other development partners to assist the providing machinery and other important equipment for effective training to take place at the centre.
He expressed hope that the youth having been given the necessary training would have the opportunity to be employed by the mining firm since their major constraints now is lack of skills.
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