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Association to check granite and sand winning

2010-01-11 21:44:56
This article has been read 1075 times.

The Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), a non-governmental organisation working in northern Ghana, is implementing a programme to check gravnite stone mining and sand winning in some parts of the Northern Region.

The programme, dubbed the Community Empowerment for Land use Accountability (CEfLA), seeks to control the, exploitation of natural resources by ensuring equitable access, accountability and transparency in the use of natural resources.

It is being implemented in some communities in the Tamale Metropolis and Tolon-Kumbungu and Savelugu\Nanton districts.

The GDCA project forms part of the KASA project, which is a mechanism developed by some development partners to increase civil society involvement in attaining the goals of the Natural Resource and Environmental Governance (NREG) programme.

The NREG programme is a five-year budget support programme, which was introduced in 2007 to leverage communities to check the exploitation of natural resources in their domain to ensure that it is
environmentally friendly and brings returns.

The programme will ultimately help maximise government revenue from natural resource mobilisation and reduce social conflicts over natural resource exploitation.

As part of the implementation of the CEfLA project, the GDCA organised an interface meeting which brought together various stakeholders to share and discuss research findings on the subject and propose measures to help deal with gravel and sand winning.

A Project Officer of the GDCA-CEfLA project, Mr Hardi Tijani, explained that the KASA project sought to promote evidence-based research and advocacy on the implications of natural resource exploitation.

He said in line with this, the GDCA had gathered some preliminary findings regarding granite mining which is used for gravels and sand winning in the three districts and their impact on the livelihoods of the people.

The research, he noted, had revealed that there were no rules and regulations governing sand winning and granite mining in the respective communities and there were, therefore, no records of these activities.

He said what existed was the haphazard exploitation of gravel and sand resources by individuals and groups who gave very little money to the chiefs in return for the huge resources they exploited.

Mr Tijani further indicated that even though some of the districts had environmental management committees, these never functioned effectively, as there was no monitoring.

He noted that other activities that were being undertaken under the CEfLA project included sensitising the communities to draw land-use plans and also encourage the district assemblies to incorporate those plans into their development plans.

The Project Officer also said the GDCA would engage the district assemblies, traditional authorities and environmental regulatory institutions in the development and enforcement of bye-laws and other statutes concerning the environment.

"Increasing civil society’s capacity to undertake research, monitor and evaluate impacts, and influence NRE policy would contribute to better governance of Ghana’s renewable and non-renewable natural
resources," he observed.


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