Mining Firms Abuse Land, Communities in Ghana: report

A new report accuses mining companies of major abuses in Ghana, including land seizures, pollution, and violence against protesters.

The report comes from the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law . It says Ghana’s government rewards foreign companies mining gold, bauxite, and manganese, but does little to protect affected communities.

The authors say mining firms and the government often initiate projects with little community input. They say people lose property with little or no compensation, and that frequent chemical spills contaminate water sources and farmland.

The report says the companies use state security forces to halt any protests, and that in some cases, soldiers have killed or injured demonstrators.

The authors call on Ghana’s government to exercise stronger oversight of the mining firms, and either pass or enforce laws to protect local communities.

There was no immediate response from Ghanaian authorities.

The West African country is Africa’s second-largest gold producer, behind South Africa. VOA

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