Newmont Goldcorp Ghana today reiterated its commitment to paying fair compensation through a transparent and respectful process that is legally compliant and aligns with resettlement best practices. Some40 stakeholders whose structures have been earmarked for compensation by the company’s Ahafo mine have raised concerns regarding the decrease in compensation rates for structures made from corrugated iron sheets.
To ensure fair compensation to all impacted persons, the company, in consultation with the Resettlement Negotiation Committee (RNC) – a consultative multi-stakeholder group that includes representatives of project-impacted persons to negotiate compensation rates– agrees on structure compensation rates based on prevailing market values, among other factors.
Both the Community Valuer and the Company Valuer, in their independent assessments, came up with rates for the various structure types on the basis of current market prices in line with standard practice and the law. These rates were subsequently approved by the RNC Sub-Committee on Structure Rates and submitted to the main RNC for consideration and approval. Both Valuers in their assessments established that the rate used for structures made of corrugated iron sheets in 2013 was not reflective of the prevailing value and had been done in error. All other structure types’ rates have seen an upward review ranging from 47% to 157% increases based on current market prices.
As we have done over the years, we will work with the RNC and other stakeholders to obtain an agreement that is in the interest of all parties.
“In line with our commitment to transparency and integrity, we have an obligation to offer fair and just compensation, as well as alternative livelihood packages consistent with the law and international best practices,” said Bernard Wessels, General Manager of Newmont Goldcorp Ghana’s Ahafo mine.
“We will continue to engage in good-faith dialogue with stakeholders to reach a mutually acceptable settlement,” Mr. Wessels concluded.
In a related development Bridge of Life says water can prevent and in some cases treat many of the diseases people grapple with. Medically, it has been proven that regular intake of water helps maintain blood pressure, prevents kidney damage and helps with weight loss, among others. Unfortunately, many people are oblivious of these enormous health benefits of water, and do not drink water consistently.
This was one of the key messages shared by US based non-profit health organization, Bridge of Life, when they interacted with members of Newmont Goldcorp’s Ahafo host communities recently. It had been discovered during these interactions that most of the people were not drinking enough water and as a result, injuring their kidneys. The 10 member medical team therefore took the opportunity to provide some education in that regard.
These medical engagements took place when Newmont Goldcorp recently partnered Bridge of Life to provide free medical screening for its Ahafo South host communities. The initiative is part of the company’s global strategy to help improve quality healthcare in its operational areas. More than 1,500peoplebenefited from the mobile clinics and were screened for chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease. They were also oriented on healthy lifestyles that can prevent these diseases.
“Drink lots of water, reduce salt intake, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, be careful with pain medication, don’t smoke or drink alcohol. These will make a tremendous difference in keeping ourselves healthy so that we can live normal lives,” Lori Vaclavik, Executive Director of Bridge of Life advised.
The medical team pitched camp in five of Newmont Goldcorp Ahafo’s southern communities of Kenyasi No. 1, Kenyasi No.2, Ntotroso, Gyedu, and Wamahinso during the five-day health screening exercise.
“Nana Kofi Atuahene Panin, Sanaahene of Gyedu, thanked Newmont Goldcorp Ghana for their efforts in promoting healthcare in the communities. “There are people who do not have health insurance and therefore do not visit the hospital and so it’s great that Newmont Goldcorp has brought this clinic to our doorsteps. Also, some people have diseases they are not even aware of but thanks to this well-structured exercise, they have been diagnosed and referred for further treatment”
On behalf of Bridge of Life, Lori Vaclavik thanked Newmont Goldcorp for supporting the mission and making it possible for the team to provide medical care to the people.“I’ve gone on many medical missions and I think this is the best one…and I really hope we can come back to Ghana soon and work with Newmont Goldcorp to serve more people,” she concluded.
Over the years, Newmont Goldcorp has partnered with non-governmental organizations such as Project C.U.R.E, an international non-governmental organization to offer free health screening and medical supplies and equipment to the various health institutions within its operational areas.