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20.07.2005 Regional News

Minister Commissions Projects

GNA

Huniso, (W/R) July 20, GNA- Goldfields Ghana Limited, (Tarkwa Gold Mine) on Tuesday commissioned 14 projects within its operational area at the cost of three billion, five hundred and forty five million cedis at a ceremony at Huniso, a farming community near Tarkwa.

The projects, which were sponsored under the Goldfields Ghana Foundation Trust Fund are the second phase of projects to be commissioned by the company for the 2005 financial year.

The first phase of the projects were commissioned three months ago. The projects include a nine bed-room teachers quarters at Huniso, Fencing of Huniso Clinic, Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) at Awudua and Goldfields School Complex, Hand-dug well fitted with pumps at Pepesa, Storage shed for Tebe Oil Mill, Training Centre for Wassa West Fish Farmers Association at Tarkwa, among others.

Commissioning the projects, The Western Regional Minister, Mr. Joseph Boahene Aidoo expressed gratitude to Goldfields Ghana Limited for undertaken such projects.

He said such projects do not only help to improve the living standard of the communities but they also help to promote peaceful co-existence between the communities and the companies. Mr. Boahene Aidoo urged other mining companies operating in the area to emulate Goldfields Ghana Limited (Tarkwa Gold Mine) in order to prevent unnecessary tension between some of the companies and the communities in which they operate.

He appealed to the company to also focus more on the alternative livelihood programme because it would only serve as a remembrance after the company's operations have ceased but it would also provide jobs for the youth.

The Regional Minister promised the community that the area would soon be connected to the national grid under the Self Help Electrification Programme (SHEP) to enable them to process their oil palm.

He appealed to the community to support the company to enable it to provide them with some of their needs.

Mr. Johan L. Botha, Managing Director of the company told the gathering that, the company is currently looking at the possibility of undertaking sustainable development projects in agriculture activities with the view to increase the Alternative Livelihood Projects as from next year.

He said in line with the government's policy, the company had decided to complement all educational institutions it had built for stakeholder communities with Teacher's Quarters, among other provisions. Mr. Botha said the company would also offer scholarships to brilliant but needy children in the communities.

The Managing Director said the company had contacted Opportunity Industrialization Centres International (OICL) to build the capacity of Alternative Livelihood Projects beneficiaries in Group Development, Enterprise Development and Animal Husbandry.

He implored all stakeholders to take good care of the facilities and manage them effectively.

Mr. Steve Yirenkye, the Manager of Community Affairs and Public Relation Department of the Company said the company has spent eight billion cedis on the company's Foundation Projects this year. He promised the gathering that such collaborative relationship and efforts would be sustained so that more projects could be executed next year.

Mrs. Kafui Aku Fiakpornoo, Western Regional Director of Education commended the management of the company for its role in community participation under the education reform programme by providing the community with school facilities.

She advised the community to put the facilities to good use and take good care of them because it is proper maintenance that would encourage the donors to provide more facilities for other needy communities.

The Regional Director of Education appealed to the company to continue with its expansion programme to help the assembly and the GES to provide the required quality education for the children. She said parents should take advantage of the capitation grant of 30,000 cedis which the government, through the Ghana Education Service (GES) has made available for every pupil and send their children to school.

Mr. Albert Obbin, Member of Parliament(MP) of the area thanked the company for the concern shown in providing the facilities. He appealed to the company to provide the community clinic and the school with solar panel to enable the children to study in the night and the clinic to handle emergency cases.

The MP urged the teachers to ensure that the children's performances are improved with the provision of the facilities. Mr. Emmanuel Kwesi Ayensu, the District Chief Executive of the Wassa West District Assembly (WWDA) expressed appreciation to the company for assisting the communities.

He said the WWDA is very big and without the support of Goldfields and other well-meaning companies, the Assembly would have found it difficult to develop the district. Mr. Ayensu said the projects would go a long way to support the needs of the communities, adding that the Assembly would help them to maintain the structures.

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