The Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) is once again calling on the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to decentralize its services, citing its successful use of decentralization to help 50 of its members gain new mining lands as an example of what can be achieved.
In a statement to the media on Thursday, the GWMO explained that after the Closed Area Committee (CAC) announced its land distribution process, GWMO regional representatives mobilized miners in several areas including Marudi, Mahdia, Port Kaituma and Bartica to submit their applications in the hope that they would successfully acquire land.
This effort resulted in the GWMO making submissions on behalf of 72 miners, 50 of whom are now new land owners. The GWMO said that the majority of the beneficiaries of this process are first time land owners and women, who have been carrying the burden of providing for the household and guiding the family.
According to GWMO, it was necessary for the organization to distribute and collect application forms since the forms were only available at the GGMC headquarters. While public advertisements had stated that the forms would also be available on the GGMC’s website and at mines offices this was not so; an oversight which denied countless miners access to the process, the statement said. It was after being made aware of this issue that the GWMO’s executive agreed to mobilize regional and community representatives.
“As we have continuously presented to the GGMC, as well as, the Ministry of Natural Resources, not every miner can afford to journey from their place of work to the city for these simple services, as such, decentralization is pivotal to miner’s participation,” GWMO stated.
It explained that the need for landownership has been echoed across the six mining districts as the only means to combat the effects of landlordism.