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Community Entry Visits Mark Beginning of Fruitful Partnership between Communities and BRACE Project

Mining communities in Eastern and Western Regions have welcomed the European Union’s (EU) support through the Building Resilient and Active Communities in Extractive Landscapes of Ghana (BRACE) Project.

This follows community entry visits conducted by Wacam, an implementing partner of the BRACE project, from June 10-14, 2024.

The visits took place in Wacam’s operational zones and communities across the Eastern and Western regions, specifically in Nkwateng, Saamang and Adausena Prestea, Breman-Brofoyedu, Ayensukrom, Tarkwa, and Bonyere-Nzema.

The visits aimed to introduce BRACE to the communities and promote sustainable mining practices, environmental protection, and safeguarding mining communities’ rights.

The 3-year EU-funded project is implemented by A Rocha Ghana, Nature and Development Foundation (NDF), and Wacam, all non-profit organisations working in Ghana’s extractive sector.

During the visits, community leaders expressed gratitude for the EU’s commitment, hoping for a better future.

“We’ve suffered environmental degradation and human rights abuses, but this project brings hope,” said Elder Daniel Teye from Breman-Brofoyedu.

Madam Joyce Owusu from Adausena added, “We’re proud to be part of this initiative, which will help curb human rights abuses and protect our lands in mining communities.”

The visits marked the beginning of a fruitful partnership between the communities and the BRACE project, aiming to empower and protect mining communities.

Led by Wacam’s Associate Executive Director, Mrs Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, the team visited the Saamang on June 10, where 65 participants from nearby communities attended, including Hemang, Gyampomani, Dome, Osino, and Dwenase, with many women present.

She explained that the project, implemented by A Rocha Ghana, in partnership with Nature and Development Foundation (NDF) and Wacam, aims to build resilient and active communities in extractive landscapes in Ghana, ensuring the extractive industry benefits all stakeholders.

She went on to disclose that the project was being implemented in 200 mining communities, promoting transparency and accountability in Ghana’s extractive sector.

The team also visited Nkwateng and Adausena on June 11, engaging with community members and leaders, including a courtesy call on Nana Amanie Ankrah II, Chief of Nkwateng.

For his part, Nana Amanie II praised Wacam and its partners, stressing that mining communities needed projects like BRACE to empower them to assert their rights.

The visits continued in Breman-Brofoyedu and Ayensukrom on June 12, Tarkwa on June 13, and Bonyere on June 14, fostering a collaborative spirit and hope for a better future.

At Breman-Brofoyedu, the Executive Director of Wacam, Mr. Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, encouraged the community members to unite and stand against rights violations by mining companies.

“You are not alone in your struggles; the EU has its eyes on Ghana’s mining communities, which is why they are supporting us with the BRACE project,” he noted.

Speaking to participants at Ayensukrom and Tarkwa, Mrs Owusu-Koranteng advised the participants against resorting to violence, urging them instead to utilise the knowledge gained over the years and that which will be gained from BRACE to tackle the mining companies and other mining related issues.

The communities that attended the Tarkwa visit were: Tarkwa Proper, Tarkwa Banso, Tebrebe, New Atuabo, and New Site.

The team concluded its community visits on Friday, June 14, at Bonyere, where Wacam’s Communications Officer, Ato Keelson, emphasised that BRACE will empower them by building their capacities to effectively address environmental and human rights issues affecting their communities.

Assistant Programmes Officer, Nana Akuoko, was also part of the Wacam team that embarked on the trip, and BRACE leaflets outlining the project’s goals and strategies were distributed to the participants, providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the initiative.

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