Liberia: MNG Gold Hands over US$175k Clinic to Residents of Sayweh Town in Bong County


Kokoyah District, Bong County: The days of walking long distances in search of healthcare services for residents of Sayweh Town Community in Kokoyah District are over after the Turkish Mining Company, MNG Gold, on Monday, 12 December tuned over a new clinic to residents.

The nine-bed room clinic, which costs US$70,000.00 was not part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the company and the Liberian government. The clinic has a placenta pit, maternal wards and others essential departments to respond to service delivery.

By Selma Lomax, [email protected]

Speaking at the dedication ceremony, the General Manager of the company, Cem Koray Yagci, said the construction of the clinic is crucial in alleviating the problems faced by residents of Sayweh Town in accessing healthcare.

Yagci said the company remains committed to working hard to reduce the alarming number of women and their newborns dying due to child birth complications and the lives of locals.

“This construction of this clinic will directly help improve health service delivery for mothers and babies as well as locals in Kokoyah District,” he said. Giving an overview of the project, Benedict Sayeh, the company’s Government and Public Relations Manager, said citizens, through their lawmakers, had negotiated with the company to build a clinic for residents of the town, a plea he said the company heeded.

The program was graced by dignitaries, including lawmakers of Bong and Grand Kru Counties, Superintendent Esther Walker of Bong County, Dr. Cynthia Blapooh, Bong County Health Officer, local leaders, among others.

Speaking at the program, Senator Prince Moye of Bong County lauded the company for the initiative, but however, cautioned residents of the district to constructively engage the company to deliver on its Corporate Social Responsibilities. He said while it is true he (Senator Moye) is on one hand pressuring the company to go the extra mile in meeting the pressing needs of residents of Kokoyah District, it was necessary they begin constructively engaging the company to demonstrate their love for district.

Senator Moye clarified that the construction of the clinic was never enshrined in the MOU signed between the government, residents of the district and the company. 

Dr. Blapooh, making remarks at the occasion, admonished community members take the facility as their own, and take it as an opportunity, she thanked Yagci for the clinic and asked him to help take the liabilities while the Government of Liberia prepares to enlist nurses on its payroll. 

Dr. Edwin Dennis, Director General of the National Bereau of Concessions, said the construction of the clinic was indeed timely and said he had no doubt it woud have an impact on the lives of residents of Kokoyah. I am so grateful that MNG Gold for constructing such a beautiful facility for our people.

Like othe speakers, he pleaded with the company to begin paying health workers who will be assigned at the clinic until they can be enlisted on government’s payroll.

Speaking also, District One lawmaker, Albert Hills, was full of praise for the company, describing the facility as a dream come true. Rep. Hills, said limited health facilities in remote parts of the country are a major contributing factor. “The distance from most communities to available health facilities is long. So people, especially pregnant women, find it difficult to access crucial health services when they need them,” he said, adding, “with the construction of this clinic locals are going to benefit immensely.”

He hailed the joint efforts of his office and former Bong County Senator Henry Yallah for pressuring the company to see the need to construct a clinic for locals, though it wasn’t enshrined in the MOU. 

The program was graced by locals, lawmakers of the county, including Bong County Senator Prince Moye and District One representative Albert B. Hills.

Meanwhile, Sam Cheney, a human right activist, hailed the company for constructing the clinic, adding that the district was losing loved ones before reaching the nearest clinic which is about an hour away.

Patience Flomo, a resident of Sayewheh Town, told FrontPage Africa the construction of a clinic is a relief to women in the district. Another villager, Marie Padmore, hailed the company for constructing the clinic, adding: “The clinic means a lot to us as a community because we used to walk distances to the nearest health facility. It was no easy walk at all especially for pregnant women,” she said.

As a way of appreciation, residents of Sayewheh Town presented a sheep to the Yagci for the effort applied in constructing them a clinic. The day’s event concluded with the touring of the vocational school undergoing construction by the company.