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Mr Charles Abugre. Board Chairman, TAMA Foundation Universal

 ‘Let’s minimize the harm and optimize benefits of mining in northern Ghana’- TAMA Foundation   

The Board Chairman of TAMA Foundation Universal, a Policy, Research and Advocacy Organization, Mr Charles Abugre, has asked stakeholders in the mining sector to find innovative ways to minimize the negative social and environmental impacts of extractive activities in the  Northern part of the country.

Mr Abugre acknowledged that the northern part of Ghana is blessed with mineral resources, especially gold, and their extraction has contributed to job creation and revenue generation. Nevertheless,  it is important to recognize the environmental and social consequences that accompany this extraction process.

He said the extraction of these minerals comes with a lot of destruction to the environment and hence, there is a need to minimize the harm to the environment and optimize the benefits of the mineral extraction.

 Mr  Abugre made these remarks in  Tamale recently while welcoming stakeholders to a High-Level Forum on Natural Resource Governance in Northern Ghana.

The Forum was held on the theme, ‘Building Resilient Communities Through the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources.’ The meeting was meant to disseminate three major research reports on mining in northern Ghana. It brought together  key stakeholders from Ministries, Departments, Agencies, local authorities, CSOs,  youth groups, and security agencies, Faith – Based Organisations, the media, among others

With funding support from the Ford Foundation, TAMA completed the research assignments in partnership with the Water Research Institute and the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, University for Development Studies, Tamale.

Key thematic areas for the research included Assessment of Natural Resource Conflicts in Northern Ghana;  Water Quality Assessment of Illegal Mining Sites in Northern Ghana; and Navigating the “Blessing or Curse of Mining in Northern Ghana.

 The research highlighted how illegal mining activities are having a devastating effect on the environment particularly the water bodies closer to mining sites in that part of the country.

 Mr Abugre emphasized the need for collaboration, emphasizing that it is the way to to attain sustainable development,

  He thanked the intuitions for partnering with the TAMA Foundation to put  out the Reports     

 “I on behalf of the Board of  TAMA thank those who have collaborated in the various research and appreciate TAMA   management for the approach of working with the appropriate government agencies such as the Water Research Institute and the University of Development Studies. That partnership is the way to go.

“So I would like to congratulate the experts who helped to develop these reports that we are presenting today and hope that we have very productive deliberation to help make the Report better.”  

Corroborating the observations of Mr Abugre on the effects of  Mining on the environment, Dr Chrys Anab, Executive Director of TAMA Foundation Universal recognized that though mining can potentially create jobs and economic livelihood for certain people,  his outfit is very worried about some of the environmental challenges and how illegal mining activities are brewing conflicts and instability in some mining communities in the North.

Dr Chrys Anab, Executive Director of TAMA Foundation Universal

Dr  Anab noted that  “there are also issues about mining beginning to pollute the water bodies. Water is a  critical resource, so if water bodies are being polluted, then we  have a  big issue and this  is  the  time to confront the issues  rather  than waiting  till  the problem is terrible for everybody.”

The Foundation for the Transformation of Marginal Areas (TAMA Foundation Universal} is a registered non-profit organization in Ghana. The  Foundation’s approach is to find solutions to spatial inequalities by promoting transformational development in areas otherwise considered economically marginal, remote or prone to chronic poverty. TAMA Foundation draws inspiration from Article 36, Clause 2, Section (d) of the Directive Principles of State Policy of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana which specifies that the State shall as a matter of principle undertake “even and balanced development of all regions and every part of each region of Ghana, and, in particular, improving the conditions of life in the rural areas, and generally, redressing any imbalance in development between the rural and urban areas”. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their underlying principles of ‘leave no one behind’ and “reaching the furthest first” provide additional motivation for its work.

 The Organisation’s emphasis is on transformational change driven by multi-stakeholder efforts. TAMA Foundation is also the local Northern Ghanaian name for the shea-fruit – the unique nourishing fruit of the Savannah, the source of the highly desired shea-butter which symbolizes livelihoods, nourishment, healing, and innovation.

 By Mohammed Suleman /Publicagenda.news

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