Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL) has handed over a refurbished 60-bedroom barracks to the Tarkwa Divisional Police Command in the Western Region.
The once-dilapidated barracks, which consist of three blocks – each containing 20 one-bedroom flats – had its roofing changed; its ceiling, doors and windows modified; the entire electrical system replaced, and was also painted.
At a ceremony to commission and hand the barracks over to the Ghana Police Service, General Manager of GFGL – Stephen Osei-Bempah, expressed confidence that the decent accommodation that has been provided to officers will spur them on to discharge their duties diligently.
“It is our hope that our widow’s mite will contribute to motivating our gallant men and women of the Ghana Police to do more in their challenging vocation of fighting crime. It will ensure that we, the residents of Tarkwa and its environs, will continue to enjoy the peace, which should not be taken for granted.”
Gold Fields’ renovation of the barracks is significant, as housing for personnel continues to be a major challenge for the police service. Many officers and their families across the country lack proper accommodation. There are insufficient bungalows to house officers and some live in dilapidated barracks with limited resources.
Others live in ‘rented civilian accommodation, scattered in towns and cities’, which according to a statement on the Interior Ministry’s website, “have the real tendency to hamper emergency mobilisation of forces, efficient coordination and command effectiveness”.
The Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu, who commissioned the building said providing befitting accommodation for officers is part of government’s transformational agenda.
“The barracks refurbishment is in line with the transformation agenda of Ghana Police Service, which is against the backdrop of government’s steps and strategic objectives in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“We will continue to deepen collaboration with you and all stakeholders to make Ghana a safe haven that promotes business development.”
The IGP also thanked Gold Fields for the kind gesture, and urged his men to ensure the building is maintained and kept clean at all times.
“This is surely a relief, not only to the personnel of the Tarkwa Divisional headquarters but also the Ghana Police Service as a whole.
“I wish to convey my deepest appreciation and gratitude to the management of Gold Fields Ghana Limited, Tarkwa, which single-handedly refurbished the 60-bedroom barracks for personnel of the Ghana Police.”
The project was funded by the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation and cost GH¢784,000.
This renovation, together with several other projects in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem constituency, is an intervention by Gold Fields to improve infrastructure and enhance livelihoods in the mine’s host communities.
“We have built a number of school buildings, provided classroom furniture, books, granted scholarships, built clinics, erected small-town water systems, installed boreholes, constructed feeder roads, among others, in these communities,” Mr. Osei-Bempah said.
Another big impact project funded by the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation is the rehabilitation of a 33-kilometre public road between Bogoso Junction and Damang. The road, which will have an asphalt finish, costs over US$21m and is expected to ease the transportation of goods and services, provide quicker access to markets, and boost economic activities.
The Gold Fields Foundation, which was set up in 2004, has to date spent approximately US$50m on education, health, agriculture, water and sanitation, as well as infrastructure in its host communities.