The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor has expressed dissatisfaction with a cash donation of Four Million United States Dollars (US$4,000,000.00) presented by the Ghana Chamber of Mines to the Appiatse Support Fund.
The Fund was established to, among others, support the victims of the Appiatse explosion incident and reconstruct the Appiatse community.
The Chamber made the presentation at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, on Wednesday, 23rd February 2022.
According to Mr Jinapir, the Chamber of Mines has the capacity to single-handedly rebuild the Appiatse community without creating a fund.
Presenting the donation, the President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr. Eric Asubonteng, said the Chamber was very concerned about the incident and has therefore pulled their resources together, culminating in the Four Million Dollars (US$4,000,000.00) they were presenting.
He revealed that the main contributors to the donation were Anglogold Ashanti Ltd, Chirano Gold Mines Ltd, Goldfields Ghana Ltd, and Newmont Ghana Ltd.
He said the Chamber has a total membership of over seventy (70) companies and expressed his hope that the other members will contribute to the Fund.
Mr. Asubonteng also thanked the Minister for his leadership and the constructive and decisive manner in which he handled the Appiatse 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, Mr. Assubonteng 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. He said 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 the extractive industry must do more to carry the people with them, and must, therefore, show leadership and greater responsibility in such unfortunate and tragic incidents.
“I am afraid I have to point this out. A chamber of your strength, your size, your members, your portfolio in this country, I’m afraid, I’m sorry. I’m not too sure this is significant. I really don’t think that I will share that sentiment. The four companies who have contributed, the Ghanaian people are happy.”
Mr. Jinapor said, having visited the people of Appiatse on several occasions after the tragic incident, he is aware of the general feeling of the people. “Most of them feel they were sitting in their homes, doing their little farming, only for some mining they do not benefit from cause an explosion that has devastated their lives and made them miserable.”, Mr. Jinapor said.
The Minister added, it is not out of place for the Chamber to take up the entire cost of the reconstruction of the community, and if he had his way, he would have compelled the Chamber to do so.
He said he was excited that the Chamber named the companies that contributed, and looked forward to the other companies doing the same.
He encouraged 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 urged the Chamber to work hand in hand with Government as partners.