An assessment of compensation packages for people displaced by mining activities : case studies of Upper Denkyira and Adansi West Districts

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Government’s policy on the golden age of business has attracted many investments into the Ghanaian soil. Mining as an activity is one that has received such boost. By the end of 20. twenty mining companies had been granted leases to operate. As many as 1 53 companies are waiting for their lease to be approved (Minerals Commission, 2003). The information provided above indicates that mining has come to stay and would increase in operations and number Though government is concerned with the economic benefits the country would enjoy by way of the foreign exchange earnings and employment generation, the impact of mining on the affected communities by way of what is deemed as fair compensation had to be carefully looked into. This is important as this issue has not only become topical but carries with it emotional and life threatening dimensions. As a general objective this study assessed the compensatory packages for people in mining areas whose means of livelihood have been affected by mining activities. The effects, which have social and economic implications, included displacement leading to loss of livelihood, conflicts among communities displaced by mining operations as well as serious mining-related health and social problems such as malaria, tuberculosis, conjunctivitis, skin diseases etc. This study proposed to address the adequacy or otherwise of the compensation packages offered to people displaced by mining activities. It also addressed the contribution of stakeholders in the mining industry like the Mining Companies, Ministry of Lands and Mines, the Minerals Commission. the District Assemblies, the Office of the Administrator of Stool lands, the Traditional Authority etc. in creating Mining induced Displacement and Resettlements (MIDR) with its associated problems. Laws regulating the activities of these stakeholders as far as MTDR was concerned were also revisited so as to find the effectiveness of these laws. The research work came out with the following findings following the objectives set in the study It was realized that compensation calculation especially for acquired farm lands was based on the investment or the acreage method. The compensation arrived at, using the acreage method was noticed to be very small since it could not reimburse the displaced farmers for their cost of’ production. This displaced people had therefore lost their means of livelihood without any matching compensation to adequately resettle them. From the study it was discovered that the majority of the respondents were farmers. Few engaged in other activities like small scale mining (Galamsey), trading, artisanry etc. It was revealed that land ownership titles prevailing in the study areas were the allodial titles i.e., lands were family owned. Many had lost their claim to this title because those lands had been compulsorily acquired, forcing some of these respondents to either abandon farming or settle for a lease on lands belonging to other families whose land had not yet been taken which in most cases were not fertile as compared to their own. This therefore changed their income patterns from higher income levels to lower income levels. It also came to light that the Administrator of Lands Act (Act 123) did not offer any specific guidelines as to how royalties are to be used, neither did it offer any monitoring strategies to ensure that such monies were used for certain purposes they are intended to be used for. This therefore enabled stakeholders like the district assemblies and the traditional stools to use monies they received to satisfy their own needs. Finally the study revealed that most of the respondents saw mining activities as having done them more harm than good. To them it had resulted in joblessness, diseases, loss of livelihoods etc. Recommendations included changes in the way compensations are calculated, institution of’ what is seen to be the right compensation that ensures sustainability, training and skill acquisition for those displaced taking into consideration the socio-economic characteristics of the people, and revision of laws and guidelines that regulate how royalties should be disbursed to the benefit of communities displaced by mining activities.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrnntah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning, 2004