Indigenous rights activists and standard committee member of the ASI, Mr. Abu Karimu, is calling on mining companies in the country to publish environmental impact assessment in indigenous people’s languages so that affected communities can make informed decision on possible impacts on their environments and livelihoods.
The culture of just meeting a fraction of the community members by project consultants frowned on international rights of indigenous people to be informed in their own language. Don’t just bring a PhD holder in our community to speak big grammar and confuse them.
It is also morally wrong to just paste a 600 page impact assessment on the notice board of companies and national dailies and think you have fulfill the sacred obligation of informing them. It must be done in their mother tongue.
Mr Abu Karimu urged mining companies to set up community information centres in all mining communities for the purpose of informing communities about EIA.
“Frankly speaking the methodology and approaches currently been used is outdated and not fit for purpose for indigenous communities in the country. Give us that information in our own language and let us as communities jaw-jaw before making a definite decision on projects,” he said.
Mr Karimu who is also chief executive officer for Settle Ghana made the call at Yamfo community in the Tano North Municipality of the Ahafo region. He said the western and developed world style of engaging communities on environmental impact assessment must give way to a more practical and domesticated method.
Indigenous community leaders have often accused mining companies and investors of hiding vital negative impacts of mining on their communities.
Environmental assessment is the assessment of the environmental consequences of a plan, policy, program or actual project prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action.