The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has expressed dissatisfaction with a cash donation of $4 million presented by the Ghana Chamber of Mines to the Apeate Support Fund, established to, among others, support the victims of the Apeate explosion incident and reconstruct the community.
The Chamber made the presentation at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources yesterday.
The President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Eric Asubonteng, said the Chamber was very concerned about incident, and had therefore pulled its resources together to support the Fund.
He revealed that the main contributors to the donation were AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, Chirano Gold Mines Ltd, Goldfields Ghana Ltd, and Newmont Ghana Ltd.
According to him, the Chamber has a total membership of over 70 companies, and expressed hope that the other members would contribute to the Fund.
Mr Asubonteng also thanked the Minster of Lands and Natural Resources for the decisive manner in which he handled the Apeate 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,” he said.
Receiving the donation, the Minister thanked the Chamber, and particularly the four main contributors to the donation made.
He, however, expressed his disappointment and dissatisfaction with the amount donated by the Chamber.
“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,” he said.
Mr Jinapor emphasised the need for the extractive industry to do more to carry the people with them, and show leadership, coupled with a greater responsibility in such unfortunate and tragic incidents.
Having visited the people of Apeate on several occasions after the tragic incident, the Minister indicated that he is aware of the general feeling of the people.
“Most of them feel they were sitting in their homes, doing their little farming, while a mining activity they do not benefit from caused an explosion that has made their lives uncomfortable and miserable,” he noted.
He reiterated that it is not out of place for the Chamber to take up the entire cost of the reconstruction of the community, adding that “if he had his way, he would have compelled the Chamber to do so”.
He was excited that the Chamber named the companies that contributed. He said he was looking forward to the other companies to do same, urging the Chamber to publish the names of the companies and the amount they are contributing for transparency and accountability.
Mr Jinapor pledged the Ministry’s continuous support to the Chamber, and encouraged it to collaborate in efforts with the government.
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