Mining giant, Gold Fields Ghana, has committed more than US$830,000 to help fight the coronavirus pandemic in its operating areas in the Western Region and other parts of Ghana, according to a statement from the company.
Gold Fields, which operates the Tarkwa and Damang gold mines, says it has contributed US$433,891, through the Ghana Chamber of Mines, to support government’s efforts to reduce the spread of the disease and assist vulnerable people in the country.
Gold Fields’ is one of nine mining companies that donated US$2 million to the Ministry of Health to support the various testing centres, hospitals and frontline health workers.
The Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields West Africa, Mr Alfred Baku said, “This contribution represents our timely response to the call by the Government of Ghana to support the fight against COVID-19.
“We have a duty to support vulnerable people in our society in these challenging times.”
The mining company says it is also spending over US$400,000 to support its employees and members of its host communities in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem and Prestea Huni-Valley municipalities to fight the virus. The funds have been used to procure hand-held thermometers, sanitisers, goggles, face masks, protective gowns and other necessary equipment to prevent infection.
Gold Fields says it is also working closely with local and national health authorities to keep its operating areas safe, and to strengthen established protocols to manage any suspected and confirmed cases. The company sponsors radio programmes to educate residents of its host communities about the coronavirus.
Prior to Ghana recording its first two cases on 12 March 2020, Gold Fields had taken proactive steps to prevent infections and spread of the coronavirus at its mine sites at Tarkwa and Damang. According to the company, all employees and visitors to the sites go through an extensive screening process.
Employees have also been provided with protective kits including face masks and hand sanitisers, and have been sensitised on basic hygienic practices recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The company has also put in place measures to ensure that employees practise social distancing at the workplace.
“As a company, we prioritise the health and safety of our employees and members of our host communities. We believe our contribution will go a long way towards flattening the curve and help us return to normal lives soon,” Mr Baku added.
Mr Baku also commended the company’s employees for their vigilance, courage and dedication to work during this critical period. He urged the employees to stay calm and continue to observe personal hygiene and practise social distancing.