Business News of Friday, 23 March 2012Source: GNA Aboso Goldfields Limited (AGL) Damang Mine, has increased its 2012 budget to GH¢1,853,060.06 for the company’s community development projects.
The company said with education as its priority, it has estimated to spend GH¢793, 126.76 and health, water and sanitation will take GH¢203, 758.50 and GH¢146, 950.14 respectively.
On agriculture and other projects, it will spend GH¢460, 971.25 and GH¢248, 253.42 respectively.
Mr. Yaw Opoku Bretwum, the Community Affairs Manager for AGL, Damang Mine, said this on Friday at a consultative meeting organized by the company for stakeholders in its catchments area.
He said in 2010, the company spent GH¢851, 219.25 on its community development projects.
Projects executed during that period include the construction of a community clinic at Damang, teachers’ quarters at Amoanda and Huni Valley, rehabilitation of a block of six classrooms at Koduakrom, a three unit classroom block each at Subri and Bompieso.
Mr. Bretwum said one of the challenges that the company faced in the previous year was that some members of the community did not take seriously the alternative livelihood programme such as the oil palm plantation activities.
He said to address this problem an award scheme had been instituted for the farmers who are now sole owners of the programme to ensure that the project becomes successful.
He said market surveys would be conducted on all projects before it will be implemented to ensure effective marketing of products from the Sustainable Empowerment Economic Development (SEED) programme
Mr. Robert Siaw, the Head of Sustainable Development Affairs, Ghana, said illegal mining had become more attractive to the youth than the sustainable development programme.
He said the company was not against small scale mining but it would not tolerate activities of illegal miners on the company’s concession.
Mr Siaw appealed to its stakeholders to educate their communities to refrain from engaging in illegal mining and rather attach importance to the (SEED) programme.
Mr. Christo Viljoen, the General Manager of AGL, Damang Mine, said the company was prepared to develop strategies and programmes to improve the economic standards of its catchment communities.**