The ten mine-take communities within the Ahafo project of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL), in the Asutifi North District of Brong-Ahafo Region have appealed to the mine to increase the percentage of amount set for its social responsibility programmes.
According to the communities, as the multi-national mining company goes underground in the area, there was an urgent need for the company to review the annual funds allocated to the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NaDEF) set up for community projects.
NaDEF was established in 2008 as a mechanism to manage Newmont Ahafo mine’s sustainable community development commitment.
The mine has been contributing one dollar per each ounce of gold produced and one percent of its net profit after tax to the Foundation.
Nana Osei Kofi Abiri, the Paramount Chief of Kenyasi number one, made the appeal on behalf of the communities when some selected Journalists paid a courtesy call on him at Kenyasi number one.
Led by some key officials of NaDEF, the newsmen were in the area to inspect some projects constructed by the Foundation and how those projects were benefiting the communities.
Nana Abiri indicated that since the fund was established, local communities had benefited from numerous development projects, but expressed the worry that the amount was inadequate considering the needs of the people.
Nana Abiri said school enrollment had increase in the area as a result of increased educational infrastructure and commended NGGL and managers of the fund, hoping that with the increment the communities would benefit enough projects.
Mrs Elizabeth Opoku-Darko, the Executive Secretary of NaDEF, said so far monies accumulated in the fund amounted to GH¢54.2 million, adding that more than 100 social amenities and infrastructural projects had been constructed in the communities.
She said scholarships worth GH¢12.3 million had also been awarded to more than 8,100 students in second cycle and tertiary institutions, while over 1,500 women and men had benefited from micro credit totaling GH¢582,000.00 to expand their economic activities.
Some of the projects the team visited included Information and Communication Technology Centers (ICT) at the Kodiwohia and T I Ahmadiyya basic schools, bamboo bike factory, and the College of Nursing at Ntotroso.
At the Kodiwohia Basic school, Mr Seth Gyansah, the ICT master, appealed for more computers as the 20 computers at the facility were inadequate.
He said the ICT centre had help the students to advance in technology, and expressed appreciation to NaDEF for the facility.
Mrs Mavis Aboma, the Headmistress of the Obeng Manu Local Presby School at Kenyasi number one, which has benefited from a six unit classroom block, said enrolment had increased tremendously and appealed to the government to extend the school feeding programme to the school.