BY J.J. MESSNER AND HANNAH BLYTH*
The first local dialogue was held on February 22 in Bolgatanga, Upper East region. The dialogue, led by WANEP-Ghana, was attended by stakeholders including the Ghana Police Service, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Traditional leadership, the Shanxii Mining Company, small scale mining groups, the Talensi and Nabdam District Assemblies, the local media (Ghana News Agency) and the Lands Commission.
As a follow-on from the training conducted in December 2015, the dialogue focused on sensitizing the participants to the need to adopt and use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms to address threats to security and peace in extractives-affected communities. A group of volunteers amongst the dialogue participants agreed to form a grievance response committee that shall participate in monitoring security and human rights-related threats arising from the mining operations in their area. The volunteer group will receive information on risks from community monitors who will be identified by WANEP-Ghana, and facilitate responses to those risks The group consists of representatives from the mining company, CSO, local government assembly, traditional leadership, community, and small scale mining organization. A follow-up dialogue will be staged next quarter.
*WANEP-Ghana also contributed to this report.