WACAM raises ethical concerns with oil & gas exploration in the Volta Basin

A study on oil and gas exploration by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), in three districts in the Volta Basin has revealed that the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent, FPIC, was not followed.

The principle allows people to give or withhold consent to projects that may affect them. The study also showed the people were not adequately compensated for crops and other properties destroyed.

Speaking at a forum in Accra to outdoor and discuss the report, Co-Executive Director of Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM), a human rights and responsible mining advocacy NGO, Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, cautioned that if care is not taken, the destructive impact of mining on communities would befall those in the Volta Basin.

She therefore supported the call of the residents to the government to respect the FPIC principle in engaging with them.

The Free Prior and Informed Consent principle, which Ghana has ratified has indicated that before mining or oil and gas exploration takes place, the project community to be impacted must first be informed, and their consent granted before such an activity can proceed.

However, if they refuse to grant their consent, it cannot go ahead.

Mrs Owusu-Koranteng, said engagements with the agents of GNPC and the affected communities Atebubu-Amantin, Nkoranza South and Nkoranza North in the Bono Region where there is an ongoing on-shore oil exploration does not meet the minimum standards of the Free Prior and Informed Consent principle.

The Dean, School for Development Studies, University of Cape Coast, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang and a Lecturer at the Geography Department, also of the same University, Dr Yaw Asamoah, who carried out the research, said the manner in which the compensation was determined without negotiation with the affected farmers was not fair.

They described it as an affront to rule of law and abuse of human rights.

READ ALSO: Energy Minister Woos Oil And Gas Investors At Houston Conference

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