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18.03.2006 Regional News

Newmont to provide 13 community centers in its concession


Koforidua, March 18, GNA - Newmont Akyem Project is constructing community centres in the 13 communities within its concession to be used for vocation training of the people, among other social development programmes. In collaboration with the Opportunity Industrialisation Centre International (OICI), the company is to undertake capacity building of the farmers in areas, including leadership, alternative employment, financial investment and management skills.

Mr. Opoku Appiah, a Community Development Officer of the company, who announced this at this year's first quarterly Media Encounter at Koforidua on Thursday explained that the training was to help ensure that the farmers used their crop compensation meaningfully. He said with the exception of the people of Hweakwae, the company had paid compensation to those of the 13 other communities based on the officially negotiated amount for their affected crops, but could not readily mention the total amount involved. Mr Appiah said a school sensitisation project on mining would soon be instituted in all communities in the area to educate the youth on mining operations. He mentioned a number of community development projects being jointly undertaken by the company, the Birim North District Assembly and the communities in the area of education, health, water and sanitation, saying a computer centre is being set up the Adesuna Junior Secondary School to cater for the area.

Mr Appiah said affected farmers in the concession area are being organized and trained into a labour pool, while the skills of local contractors are to be upgraded to enable them participate in the construction projects of the company. He said a 2.7-billion-cedi communication tower at New Abirem would soon be completed to provide efficient communication network based on the Areeba channels.