March 9, 2017
Having lived in rural Ghana for over thirty years, I have seen the damage done to rural communities when a company – almost always one that comes from the wealthier countries – comes and obtains land rights from a local chief or government official. Many people lose their farms – their source of income and support – and are forced to leave their villages where their forefathers and foremothers have lived for hundreds of years. The compensation that is given to whoever the company chooses does not suffice for every family to get sufficient land and to build a house and have a farm elsewhere. Communities are broken up, the local government of the group may no longer function effectively and the people are forced to live in poverty.
Therefore I strongly oppose any changes on the Conflict Minerals Rule and ask that you do all that you can to protect the lives and properties of the people effected by any changes to the Conflict Minerals Rule.