An Non Governmental Organisation(NGO) which is into the Welfare of indigenous people ,Settle- Ghana is challenging government to as a matter of urgency take a critical look at the circumstances of people living around conserved areas around Ghana.
According to the NGO, its findings have concluded that the livelihoods of indigenous people living on the periphery of Nature conversations areas are under threat.
Chief Executive Officer of Settle -Ghana , Abu Karimu, in a media interview said a recent study undertaken by his outfit in some communities around the Mole National park revealed a devastating situation where elephants and other wild animals had taken over the farms of indigenes and destroying their produce whilst authorities look on unconcerned “Is the state saying the animals are more important than the indigenous people, this is not fair”. He quivered.
According to him the situation is not peculiar to the Mole Park area alone but also in some mining and other areas.
“Go to mining communities and see the quality of lives of the indigenous people there. Their roads, water and health centers are nothing to write home about. Go to the palm plantations areas and the story is not different”. He added.
The CEO of Settle-Ghana also cited the current happenings at Atewa in the Eastern Region , where civil society and pressure groups and the fringe community there are resisting governments decision to allow a Chinese firm, Sinohydro, from mining bauxite in the Atewa forest.
According to Abu Karimu ,stakeholders didn’t follow the standard FPIC (FPIC is an acronym for Free Prior and Informed Consent which is a right that belongs affected communities whose livelihood are affected during takeover of their lands by government or mining firms .
“one thing is clear and that is FPIC was never adhered to. From what is happening I’m convinced FPIC was never given space in the conversation leading to the MOU between the government on one hand and the Chinese officials, the people of Atewa have a right to decide their own future, and not to have their future decided for them by any external force”.
“Settle Ghana which fights for the rights of indigenous people therefore appeals to the government to go back to the negotiating table and seek the consent of the indigenous people of Atewa and civil society groups”. He added.
Ghana | Atinkaonline.com