Residents of six coastal districts dissatisfied with oil and gas operators

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Esiama (W/R), Nov. 4, GNA – Data collected by the Western Regional Coastal Foundation (WRCF) has revealed that there is 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 were 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 Dixcove 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 is important that the conversation managers who were the faces 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.

Meanwhile, Mr Kwesi Bonzo, the District Chief Executive of the Ellembelle District, has said there is 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.

Mr Kwesi Bonzo called on fellow Chief Executives along the coast to come together, 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 a conscious and collective participatory efforts,” he said.

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