The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has expressed dissatisfaction with a cash donation of US$4million from the Ghana Chamber of Mines to the Appiatse Support Fund.
To the minister, it is not out of place for the Chamber to take up the entire cost of the reconstruction of the Appiatse community, and if he had his way, he would have compelled the Chamber to do so.
Mr Jinapor expressed the concern when the Chamber led by its President, Mr. Eric Asubonteng on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 made the presentation of US$4million it had mobilised from some of its members to support the Appiatse fund.
The companies that contributed are Anglogold Ashanti Limited, Chirano Gold Mines Limited, Goldfields Ghana Limited and Newmont Ghana Limited.
Already, the Future Gold Resources (FGR), the operator of the Bogoso Prestea Mine has also contributed by providing the displaced residents of Appiatse with a temporal shelter. FGR has also agreed with the government to further help temporarily shelter the displaced residents in a new resettlement site it was providing for residents of Dominase, who are currently located within the concession.
Mr Jinapor said the Chamber has a total membership of over 70 companies, and expressed the hope that the other members will contribute to the fund.
The Minister said he was excited that the Chamber named the companies that contributed, and looked forward to the other companies to do same.
He encouraged the Chamber to publish the names of the companies and the amount they are contributing for transparency and accountability.
He thanked the Chamber, and particularly the four main contributors to the donation made and expressed his disappointment and dissatisfaction with the amount donated by the Chamber.
He said given the membership of the Chamber, the industry they are engaged in, and their portfolio, the donation made was very insignificant, having regard to the destruction caused.
Mr Jinapor said the extractive industry must do more to carry the people with them, and must, therefore, show leadership and a greater responsibility in such unfortunate and tragic incidents.
He said, having visited the people of Appiatse on several occasions after the tragic incident, he is aware of the general feeling of the people.
“Most of them feel they were sitting in their homes, doing their little farming, only for some mining they do not benefit from to cause an explosion that has devastated their lives and made them miserable.”, Mr. Jinapor said.
Mr. Jinapor pledged the Ministry’s continuous support to the Chamber and urged the Chamber to work hand in hand with Government as partners.
The Appiatse Support Fund has been established to among others, support the victims of the Appiatse explosion incident and reconstruct the Appiatse community.
Presenting the donation, the President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr. Eric Asubonteng, said the Chamber was very concerned about incident and have therefore pulled their resources together, culminating in the US$4million they were presenting.
Mr. Asubonteng also thanked the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, for his leadership and the constructive and decisive manner in which he handled the Appiatse explosion incident.
“It has been handled in such a way that the industry has been held together. Because it could have meant anything, and if it had gotten out of hand, it wouldn’t have been to the benefit of any stakeholder, Mr. Assubonteng said.