Business News of Tuesday, 6 November 2018
Data collected by the Western Regional Coastal Foundation (WRCF) has proven that there are perceived dissatisfaction among residents of the six coastal districts on activities of oil and gas operators within these districts.
The data collected in the areas of health, economic, sanitation, infrastructure and education with regards to social corporate investment of these oil and gas companies lived much to be desired as some of this intervention scored 100 percent dissatisfaction among community members.
This came to light at the seventh Citizens Advisory Council’s public session meeting at Nkroful in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region.
The Forum was to discuss emerging community issues and solicit responses from government officials and players in the oil and gas sector.
The perceived dissatisfaction among residents of coastal communities was arrived at when 100 communities profiled by the WRCF Data consultant and other NGOs within the coastal districts.
Mr Gilbert Dadzie, Data Consultant, said livelihood empowerment, access to credit for alternative livelihood or improvement on the fishing business as well as roads, bridges and markets were strong on the request lists of the communities engaged.
He said leveraging on the data collected to plan development and other social intervention was Paramount.
Nana Kwesi Agyeman ix, Omanhene of lower Dixcoove and Chairman of the Foundation, said the level of involvement and extent to which the intervention solved a desired problem was a determinant to the sustainability and collective management of them.
He said it was therefore important that the conversation managers who were known within the communities, were listened to as they presented specific issues on project interventions along broad areas such as economic development, environment, health, water and education among others.
Mr. Kwesi Bonzo, the District Chief Executive of the Ellembelle, stressed the need to respond quickly to these seeming dissatisfaction among the coastal communities to avert any security threats in the future.
“Data cannot lie…we cannot wash these findings under the carpet or else we sit here for future explosion of youth agitation and grievances, “he added.
The DCE was worried that the cost of living continued to soar without commensurate income, which he said was a recipe for disaster.
Mr. Kwesi Bonzo therefore called on his colleagues Chief Executives officers along the coast to come together as a bigger board to engage in conservation and dialogues with both national and foreign oil companies in finding a lasting solution to the current challenges.
“We need to build the capacity of the local people to take active part in the oil and gas business through conscious and collective participatory efforts in ensuring employment gap was bridged and the locals effectively engaged in the supply chain”.