Prioritize needs of people living around conserved areas- Settle Ghana



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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