Fishermen within the six coastal districts of the Western Region have been reminded on the need to keep a distance from the oil rig since their activities pose greater risks to them as well as the oil installations.
They have also been advised to minimise the use of fire on the sea and rather resort to other methods of cooking and food preservation.
These concerns were discussed at a meeting held in Takoradi, facilitated by the West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP-Ghana) for members of the Coastal Platform for Peace Building (COPP), officials from the security agencies, traditional authorities and oil companies.
Mr Justin Bayor, National Network Coordinator, said the COPP project, which had moved into its second phase in15 months, under the sponsorship of STAR-Ghana, would help in identifying early signals of violence as a result of the oil find and mitigate against any possible conflict.
Security officials at the meeting noted that the hard heartedness of fishermen was giving the Navy Patrol Team lots of problems as they sometimes had to dive deeper to remove nets entangled through the activities of the fishermen.
Mr Bayor said the COPP would, therefore, be well equipped to deal with early warning signals and grievances before they erupted into conflict and that institutions must also be strengthened to deal with such emerging challenges.
“The members of the COPP would be resourced after the second phase to independently gather early warning signals, report to relevant authorities as well as become mediators in their respective communities,” he said.
He called on the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) to establish a better relationship with the indigenes of the communities affected by the Gas Plant.
The COPP members had alleged that GNPC had in the past not done much in community relations which had created lots of upheavals among companies operating in the area and the indigenes.
They said the time had come for the GNPC officials to come down or employ community relations experts to educate the locals on emerging challenges.
The COPP members have also called for the resettlement of the three communities affected by the gas plant as well as an alternative livelihood options for both fishermen and farmers affected in that regard.
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