From Kwesi Alfred Adams, Tarkwa Damang
The management of Goldfields Ghana Limited (GGL), a mining company operating at Damang in the Prestea, Bogoso, Huni-Valley District in the Western Region, has assured the chiefs and people living in the catchment area of its readiness to use the resources of the company to empower and uplift the communities economically and socially.
The Executive Vice President of GGL-West Africa, Mr. Alfred Baku, who made the statement at the maiden Apasato Festival, celebrated by the people of Wassa Damang, said: “Please, be assured that for as long as we remain operational, we shall use the resources we have, as a company, to empower and uplift our communities socially and economically”.
The assuring message received thunderous applause from the chiefs and the residents of the communities who had gathered at the grand durbar grounds.
Mr. Alfred Baku, who began his mining career at Damang, told the people the mine would continue to prioritise the socio-economic development of its host communities, and the country as a whole.
This is because, the host communities continue to be a valuable partner in its journey, “and we say thank you for being there for us, rain or shine.” Abosso, Bompieso, Subri, Amoanda, Hunni-Valley, Kyekyewere, Koduakrom,Damang and Subri are the major host communities of the mining giant, GGL.
Baku added that looking at the peaceful environment they are working in, which is conducive for business to survive and grow, GGL does not take the contributions of its host communities, particularly, the chiefs, for granted. “We have tried to reciprocate this warm gesture by operating responsibly, creating employment and business opportunities for the communities,” he said. He mentioned the multi-million dollar 33-kilometre asphalt road from Damang to Tarkwa, as a clear case of development for the communities.
The 33-kilometre road, sponsored by the mining company at an estimated cost of $35 million, may likely to be commissioned in July, next month.
He also mentioned scholarships and bursaries, building of bridges and other facilities the communities have benefitted from as a result of the peaceful co-existence with the stakeholders.
He said while these significant socio-economic investments have brought tremendous infrastructural development and human resource capacity building to host communities, “we do realise that the aspirations and dreams of our communities may not have been fully satisfied.”
“We do not know that we will not be able to do it all, but we will not give up trying to find sustainable solutions to the challenges that confront our communities, especially, the marginalised and vulnerable,” he added.
Baku disclosed that the company was committed to rehabilitating the internal roads in its host communities. “We are currently busy with the technical and financial arrangements that will ensure that we start this project as soon as practicable.”
He also told the gathering that this year, the Goldfields Foundation would start the construction of a two-storey 350-bed capacity dormitory for the Hunni-Valley Senior High School.
The facility, which would also include teachers’ flats, would cost over $700,000.