Mr. Raphael Kwasi Fordah, Chairman of the “Catchment Areas farmers Association”, a group of farmers within mining communities in the Western Region has advocated a more transparent system in payment of compensation for farm lands affected by mining activities.
He said the current methodology used in determining the value of crops and farms affected by the activities of mining activities was not transparent and scientific enough.
Mr. Fordah told an advocacy meeting at Takoradi that farmers spent lots of money to establish their farms, “but receive absolutely ridiculous compensation after their farms are affected by mining activities.”
The situation, according to him, had led to loss of property and revenue by these farmers whose sources of income are forever destroyed by the activities of mining companies.
He said though Article 703 of the Mineral and Mining Act, 2006 of Ghana had provision to guide the payment of compensation, the Act was not strictly adhered to by these mining companies and added that “affected persons of development induced displacements must e properly taken care of.”
“Affected persons are no longer able to have access to their source of livelihoods and environmental services previously available to them such as farmlands, alluvial mine concessions and forest resources among others.”
Mr. Fordah said in an attempt to address the problems of paid compensation, a number of principles and compensation models have evolved in order to establish more transparent and scientific rules and procedures for the determination and payment of compensation to farmers by mining companies.
The “Catchment Areas farmers Association”, he said, has therefore established a permanent joint committee for determination of compensation and publish reviewed procedures and rules for determining compensation.
Mr Fordah said the Association was targeting the following duty bearers such as the Minerals Commission, Parliament, the Chamber of Mines and the Ministry of Lands and Forestry to ensure that many farmers who have been impoverished by the actions of mining companies were taken care of.
This would bring some relief to the about 3,000 farmers majority of whom were women peasant farmers. GNA