Kokoyah District, Bong County – Work has begun on a new US$150,000 clinic by MNG, the Turkish gold mining company operating in Kokoyah Statutory District. While the first dirt was moved, local leaders and residents of affected communities celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony recently.
The clinic project is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility support to the citizens for the extraction of gold from the community.
Completion of the clinic is scheduled to be finished this year. Once completed, the clinic will offer a totally different experience for residents, said Cem Koray Yagci, general manager of MNG Gold. “It’s going to be a huge change for employees and residents of affected community.
“As Manager of MNG Gold and my entire staffs, we will start this clinic and complete it within this year 2020 for the advancement of our citizens – women and children,” Yagci said during the groundbreaking recently in Sayewheh Town.
Yagci sees the clinic as positive for employees and residents of the community. He also called for collaboration from community residents through dialogues to deliver on the company’s social responsibilities and promises his predecessors made to the community.
The vision of the clinic includes 13 bedrooms and nurses’ quarter project in the tone of US$150,000, state of the art equipment and design to help address the need of the community and will be completed and dedicated to the community for use in December this year, according to the company’s government liaison, Eugine Kollie.
“The clinic is a public facility and government is expected to take responsibility for its management. However, the issue of initial staffs’ salaries will be negotiated between government and MNG Gold,” Kollie disclosed.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by scores of citizens and leaders of the district, as well as the district’s representative, Albert Hills, Bong’s senator, Henry Yallah, and the administrator of the Bong County Health Team, Jonah Togbah, among others.
The citizens appreciated the company for the groundbreaking but are even more hopeful and eager to see the completion and dedication of the only public health post to be built in the immediate vicinity where the company’s mines are situated.
“We are happy today to witness this groundbreaking for the clinic. We thank the company and our leaders for this. As women here, our real appreciation will be expressed during the dedication,” Rose Somah, chairlady of the Multiple Stakeholder Platform group (MSP) in the district said in remarks during the program.
Somah said they continue to suffer to access health care-walking long distances to seek medication for themselves and for their children.
She assured the company and the contractor of maximum support from the women in the area throughout the construction.
In time past, the citizens had been apprehensive over the company’s “slow pace” in implementing some of its social contributions to the community, often leading to demonstrations.
Representative Hills and Senator Yallah who both are natives of the concession area appealed to the citizens to always be peaceful and collaborate with them as leaders of the area to engage the company in a more constructive manner to live up to its commitments.
The two lawmakers said advocacy for the social cooperate benefits to the affected area will be difficult to yield fruits when citizens continue to demonstrate against the company and destroying properties.
In November 2018, there was a demonstration in the areas. The mob looted and vandalized the company’s facility.
“While we are engaging the company on your behalf, we want you people to be peaceful and look up to us,” Rep. Hills said.
Hills thanked the management of MNG Gold for initiating the construction of the clinic and expressed the hope that the facility be constructed in a timely manner.
For Senator Yallah, the current general manager of the company seems to be “sensitive and responsive” to the needs of the community, for the fact that the company has embarked on implementing key projects captured as corporate social responsibility to the community.
He encouraged the management of the company to be sincere in living up to its social responsibility to the community.
Jonah Togbah said local health authorities in Bong will ensure the company follows the Ministry of Health’s standards for constructing clinics in the country.