NewmontÂ Golden Ridge Limited (Akyem) has commissioned a number of projects at the New Abirem Government Hospital in the Eastern region as part of theÂ social responsibilityÂ agreement signed with 10 communities in the Newmont Akyem catchment.
The inaugurated projects included utlra-modern maternity, male and female wards as well as 275 KVA generator and nursesâ€™ quarters at the cost ofÂ GHÂ˘1,112,027.
The inauguration of the projects also coincided with the special signing agreement ceremony between the management of the mining giant and chiefs of the various communities in the project area, which culminated in the official inauguration of the Newmont Akyem Social Responsibility Forum (SRF) to manage development fund to be set up by Newmont for development projects.
Speaking at the inauguration and signing ceremonies, the regional project director of Newmont Ghana, Kim Hackney said Newmont was determined to collaborate with the communities and the relevant government agencies create opportunities for the people.
He said SRF was formed to actively engage in the developmental planning of community projectsÂ and also work with a tripartite team consisting of Newmont, the Akyem communities and the Birim North District Assembly to accelerate socio-economic development of the area.
He said part of the SRFâ€™s goal is to draft and implement a local employment agreement which would provide a framework for Newmontâ€™s commitment of providing employment to indigenes of the project affected communities.
Mr. Hackney said so far 100 percent of unskilled labour had been allotted to the communities in the project area in the on-going constructional phase of the mine while 35 per cent skilled and semi-skilled employment would be given to the communities in the areas when real operations start after the construction of the mine.
He said the company was constructing a 14-unit police transit quarters for the police to help manage security in the area, adding that six-unit classroom blocks, offices, stores and computer rooms had already been provided for New Abirem and Ntronang with the L/A JHS being renovated by the company.
He said the company was providing water supply systems for Old Abirem, Adausena and Hweakwae while boreholes were being drilled to expand the existing water supply at New Abirem, Afosu, Mamanso and Ntronang.
The queenmother of the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, Nana Akua Asantewaa II, who was present at the ceremony, expressed gratitude for the project and asked the company to fulfill its promise of assisting the people of the area to help improve their living standards.
The Deputy Eastern Regional minister, Ebenezer Terlabi, who witnessed the signing ceremony, commended Newmont for their comprehensive plans to bring total development to the Abirem area.
From Thomas Fosu Jnr, New Abirem