Abosso GoldFields Limited (AGL) has organized its first Damang Mine Community Consultative Committee (DMCC) meeting for 2021 at Huni Valley in the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality in the Western Region.
The meeting, made up of assembly members, unit committee members, women group leaders, chiefs, queen mothers among others, was to give account of projects which were carried out in 2020 in all the host communities and also present plans for 2021.
Abdel Razak Yakubu, Regional Manager-Sustainable Development Projects of Gold Fields Ghana Limited explained to B&FT that “plans for 2021 are discussed with the committee before it is sent to Gold Fields Foundation Trustees for approval.”
He said notable among projects which were carried out in 2020 were COVID-19 relief support. “Donations to various institutions to help protect communities against the pandemic. We have also assured them that the support has not ended. We are going to continue to make some donations every now and then to help in the fight.”
On scholarship programme, he said the package was increased in 2020 from GH¢3,000 per student to GH¢6,000. “We are done with the selection of beneficiaries for 56 of them for 2020/2021 academic year. We are going to support them in their tertiary education.”
Mr. Yakubu pointed out that in terms of infrastructure, the requests are numerous: class room blocks, community centers among other.
“Some of the requests have been prioritized such as rehabilitation of some roads in the community, construction of dormitory block at Huni Valley Senior High School which was started in 2020 of which we would continue among others, come quarter two, we will come back and give account of projects which were approved and then start the process,” he added.
Robert Siaw, Regional Manager, Sustainable Development of Gold Fields Ghana Limited spoke on Voluntary Principle on Security and Human Right.
“Gold Fields is not a signatory to it but we have adopted all the principles, which is, we are respecting the human rights of all stakeholders and they doing likewise,” he explained.
“The major issue which brings problem to human rights is illegal mining. When this occurs on our concession and our protection service personnel go in to stop them, then, there could be a potential of abuse of human rights. That is why we have taken the opportunity to educate both staff and the community on this issue,” he added.
On the issue of job which was mentioned by the leaders of the community, he said: “the company cannot absorb all those who want to work at the mine, that is why we have started sensitization for all of us to start appraising our minds as to what sort of skills we can develop to generate jobs for the individuals who wants to work.”
Mr. Siaw urged parents, guardians, chiefs, queen mothers as well as opinion leaders in the various communities to continue to educate school children and community members to observe all the protocols on COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the virus.