According to Newmont Ghana they embark on a number of projects to better the welfare of the residents in the mining areas where they operate.
This was contained in a press statement released by the mining company.
This follows a research by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), WACAM and Ford Foundation which showed that the operation of the Newmont Ahafo Mine was having an adverse effect on the lives of women in the mining communities.
The findings indicated that since mining activities started in Asutifi North District by the multi-national company, the women of the area have not had access to potable water, farmlands and other means of economic livelihood.
However, Newmont Ghana’s Senior Director for Sustainability and External Relations, Paul Sowley, denied the report saying “protecting and promoting the health and welfare of our employees and local communities is a top priority for us.”
“We are currently studying the accuracy of the reports and will provide further information once we complete the review,” Sowley added.
He said they will follow up with the authors to understand the process at arriving at the research finding.
“Our review will include following up with the reports’ authors to better understand their data collection, analysis and assessment methods, which seem to lack the scientific rigour to support their conclusions.”
The company further explained that they have mitigation programmes that have supported over 10,000 people. The programmes include the Agricultural Improvement and Land Access Programme, Vulnerable Peoples’ Programme and Skills Development Improvement Programme.
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The company said it has also installed other amenities to help in the farming activities of the residents.
“The Company has installed new wells, monitored ground water supplies, improved sanitation and worked closely with local communities on monitoring and protecting water quality.”
“In addition, the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation which has accrued more than Gh¢54.2million is positively enhancing lives with the award of over 8,000 scholarships, 100 infrastructure projects (including schools, libraries, health facilities and potable water projects). The Foundation also has given out micro-credit support to approximately 1,500 beneficiaries, most of them women.”
The statement added that Newmont has also put in various measures to help empower the women in the mining area.
“In addition to the formation of a Women Consultative Committee, which has had tremendous impact on women in the 10 host communities, there has been an appreciable level of inclusion of women in the local economy. It is worthy to note that more than 40 percent of the scholarships and 98 percent of the micro-credit beneficiaries have been women.”