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19.09.2004 Business & Finance

GFGL Tarkwa Mines invests C8bn in community

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Tarkwa (W/R) Sept 19, GNA - Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL) Tarkwa Mine has invested eight billion cedis in community assistance programmes in 2004/2005 financial year.

The money, which is twice more than what was allocated for community Assistance programmes in the last financial year is to cover 30 projects in Catchment communities and Tarkwa.

The first phase of the programme, spanning from September 2004 to December 2004, comprises 17 projects and would cost 4.8 billion cedis while the second phase, spanning from January to May 2005 would cover 13 projects amounting to 3.2 billion cedis.

The projects include the construction Teachers' quarters at Samahuu near Tarkwa, rehabilitation and New Atuabo roads, construction of Maternity ward at Government Hospital Tarkwa, construction of a classroom block for Women;s Training Institute, Tarkwa and contribution to Wassa Fiase Traditional Council Education Fund.

Mr Johan Botha, General Manager, GFGL Tarkwa Mine announced these at a meeting with executive sub-committee of Wassa West District Assembly.

The meeting was to serve as a forum to discuss the commitment and the role the Assembly would play in sustaining projects that the mine would undertake for communities. Also in attendance were other stakeholders include Ghana Education Service (GES), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ghana Health Service.

Mr Botha said every ounce of gold produced, a fraction is put into the Gold Fields Trust Fund which in turn used to support development projects.

Explaining the criteria for selecting projects to be constructed in communities, Mr Stephen Yirenkyi, Public Relations and Community Affairs Manager, GFGL Tarkwa Mine, said a series of consultative meetings were held between communities and the Mine to find out areas where they needed assistance after which their wish lists were prioritised. He said projects were not imposed on the communities.

Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Ayensu, Wassa West District Chief Executive said surface mining is a blessing to catchment communities in the district considering many projects that mining companies have provided in such communities.

He said, had it not been GFGL Tarkwa Mine, a development partner, such projects would have been carried out at a slow pace because of the Assembly's scanty resources which cannot do much.

Mr Ayensu mentioned some of the projects, which the Assembly had embarked upon as renovation of District Council Primary Schools at Simpa and Petepom, Tarkwa Central Market and construction of a new ward for Aboso Clinic.

Mr Nicholas Morton, Wassa West District Engineer, Feeder Roads Department said 2.8 billion cedis has been spent on rehabilitation of feeder roads in the District. SEPT 19 04