Over One thousand (1000 ) people in the Akoon Community in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of the Western Region are set to become the first beneficiaries of the government’s National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Program (NAELP) in the mining sector.
This was after the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mining, Mr. George Mireku Duker undertook a successful roll out of the program on Friday, November 5, 2021.
The program which seeks to provide alternative livelihood sources to communities affected by the clampdown on illegal mining will see government support the affected communities in areas of responsible mining, agriculture, re-afforestation, agro-processing, among others.
The Deputy Minister in his address urged the residents to have faith in the commitment of the Akuffo Addo government to create employment opportunities in the small-scale mining sector.
Highlighting the far-reaching impact of the program, George Mireku Duker disclosed that over 5,000 people within the Akoon township and its environs will benefit directly and indirectly from the project.
He said government through the establishment for a committee will keep records on the miners to ensure that their activities are in line with the dictates of the law.
He explained that the community mining project places the interest of the communities at its apogee and guarantee them better benefits than any other stakeholder.
“Today begins the commencement of the operations of the community mining scheme and I couldn’t be happier. This project will see at least 1000 people benefit directly.
The impact this will make is enormous. We are looking not less than 5000 people. The community mining firm belongs to the people of Tarkwa.The miners will also enjoy 60% support.
“We have formed an operational committee that will ensure that everything goes on well here. This committee will report to the government and a well constituted committee,”he said.
Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, the Western Regional Minister admonished the miners to conform to the rules governing community mining in the country.
The Chief Executive of Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly, Mr. Benjamin Kesse pledged that the Assembly would ensure the safety and security of the mining site.
He appealed to the people to welcome the project which he reckons was championed by the Deputy Minister.
The event also served as a platform for the launch of the Community Mining Operational Manual which is a feature of NALEP.
The manual provides detailed and relevant information about the newly-look community mining exercise. It will serve as a guide for all community mining activities in the country.
The event had in attendance traditional leaders from the various communities in the municipality, executives of the Western Regional branch of the New Patriotic Party, among others.