A documentary christened 'Poverty of the Golden Towns' has been premiered to lay bare the poverty situations in host mining communities to get stakeholders to work towards changing the narrative.
The documentary, produced and directed by Mr Edem Srem, focused on the disbursement of the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) and its relative transformative impact on mining communities.
It attempted to find out what physical projects or otherwise, the MDF had been used for since disbursements from 2012 to 2017 had been released.
The documentary showed that between 2012 and 2017, an amount of GHC10million was disbursed from the MDF to the mining communities instead of the actual amount of GHC102 million meant to be disbursed.
Mr Srem, in remarks after the premiering of the documentary, said it was a tip of the iceberg and that a more detailed documentary would be carried out by the dedicated team, focusing on more mining communities.
He commended institutions and benevolent individuals who had been helpful to the team towards coming out with the documentary and urged more institutions to join in supporting efforts to educate the citizenry on such a pressing issue of the economy.
Mr Sulemanu Koney, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, commended Mr Srem and the team for spending enormous time to educate the Ghanaian populace on the mining revenue and its utilisation.
He said it was a wake-up call for all Ghanaians to begin thinking about how to adequately use the revenue generated from the mining activities being carried out in the country to ensure development.
Mr Koney said for the country and its citizens to fully enjoy the benefits in mining expedition, there must be deliberate and conscious development schemes to ensure the effective utilisation of funds.
On her part, Mrs Emelia Ayipio Asamoah, the Country Director for World University Service of Canada, WUSC Ghana, said there must be adequate and deliberate strategies to solve identified needs in the mining communities.
She said there was also the need to build the capacity of community members to ask probing questions that would in the long run put duty bearers on their toes towards demanding accountability.
Mr Ben Aryee, the Advisor on Mines at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, said there was the need to utlise the natural resources nature had endowed the country with, to benefit of the people.
Commenting on the documentary, he said it would help open the eyes of stakeholders to the happenings in the sector to better appreciate the issues.
Mr Emmanuel Kuyole, on his part at the premier, urged the media to continuously educate the larger populace and identify effective ways of communicating in the Ghanaian languages, the huge sums of money used for transactions in the mining industry.
This, he said, would make them feel concerned about the industry and demand accountability from duty bearers.
Mr Norris Kweku Hammond, the Administrator of the MDF, said the government had demonstrated commitment towards ensuring that the host mining communities benefitted from the royalties paid from the mining activities.
He said the MDF Board since its constitution, had been undertaking various activities to ensure that host communities benefitted from the mining operations through physical and other visible projects.