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20.01.2006 Regional News

BGL helps 48 to acquire skills

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Tarkwa (W/R), Jan 20, GNA - In the last three weeks, Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL) has spent A290 million cedis to train 48 people in batik printing, soap and pastry making.

The forty-seven females and a male participant were drawn from communities in the BGL's catchments' area.

They included Bogoso, Brakwa-Line, Dumasi, Prestea and Bondaye. The beneficiaries of this training were also resourced with one million cedis each; 500,000 cedis as start-up capital and another 500,000 for buying materials in addition to a few that were provided by BGL. Addressing the passing out ceremony yesterday at Prestea, Madam Juliet McDonald, Community Development Assistant of BGL said, BGL has been making effort at building upon the socio-economic development of the communities, where it operates.

She said the vocational training scheme, which formed part of the Sustainable Alternative Livelihood Programme (SALP), was to give the people knowledge and skills that would enable them to be productive. Madam McDonald said BGL was to partner the communities to work in concert in training and providing financial assistance to create alternative source of livelihood for the people.

Mr Bernard Sakyiama, an assistant director, Wassa West District Assembly, who spoke on behalf the District Chief Executive, advised the people not to wait until the Mine closed down before they look for alternative source of livelihood.

He told them to take advantage of such programmes to acquire skills that would enable them make ends-meet.

Mr Sakyiama appealed to BGL to invest in technical training of the people to make them marketable in the job market. Mr Zacharia Issah, Senior Sustainable Livelihood Officer, BGL, said earlier, BGL had concentrated on fish farming, oil palm cultivation and seri-culture but it has now added vocational training and poultry farming.

He said last year, BGL distributed 2,500 birds to people, who were selected from various communities in BGL's catchments' area and trained in poultry farming. Mr Issah explained that committees were set up in various communities to select the people for training in any project that would be embarked upon by BGL.