The Global Green Grant Fund of the United States of America has approved a 3,500 dollar grant to the Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), a non-governmental organisation to stimulate access to safe drinking water within the Ahafo project area of the Newmont Ghana Gold Limited.
The grant, according to Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Chief Executive Officer of GLOMEF, would also push his organisation to identify other problems associated with the Mine in the 10 major communities directly or indirectly affected by the operations of the company.
He told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that the debilitating effects of the Ahafo mine on the health, social, cultural; and environmental status of the local people were enormous.
Mr Ahenu explained that the NGO sought the grant following findings from a research report conducted by the Water Research Institute and the University of Cape Coast within the Ahafo area.
Findings from the six month research, funded by WACAM, an NGO which promotes responsible mining in the country, revealed there was no access to safe drinking water in the mining communities as most of the water bodies in the area were polluted due to exposure to cyanide, high manganese, cadmium, acid and other toxicants.
Mr Ahenu underlined the need to follow-up with the report findings and do serious advocacy on addressing pertinent issues affecting the socio-economic wellbeing of especially women and children in the local communities within the mine.
The project is expected to further facilitate participation of the communities in local and international policy debates on the impacts of mining with particular emphasis to access to safe drinking water.
Mr Ahenu called on the Environmental Protection Agency, Water Resource Commission and the Minerals Commission to also follow up with the findings in the research report and assess the level of adverse impact of the mine to guide policy direction.
The Global Green Grants Fund, supports mining communities and people whose lives are impacted by environmental harm and social injustice.