Ghana Bauxite to spend US$300,000 on community development

Ghana Bauxite to spend US$300,000 on community development

August 15, 2006 Filed Under: Bauxite Mining, Mining Services  

GHANA BAUXITE Company Limited (GBC) at Awaso in the Western Region, has since 2002, spent almost US$100,000 for the construction of schools and provision of streetlights for the community.

Additionally, US$300,000 has been allocated for developmental projects for the community this year.

Mr. John Kofi Moore, Environment, Health and Safety Co-ordinator of GBC Ltd., who disclosed this in reaction to concerns raised by the 16-member Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science and Technology, led by Hon. Albert Kwaku Obbin MP for Prestea/Huni Valley during a familiarisation visit to the company recently, said that since 1941, GBC Ltd, has kept faith with its promises and has been giving generously to the community.

Concerns had been raised that that the company’s contribution to the community’s development was minimal.

The visit, described as timely, was prompted by numerous calls by Ghanaians especially those living in mining areas, about adverse effects of mining on their communities in particular and the environment in general.

Mr. Moore said, ”It is the policy of GBC Ltd. to protect the environment and to conserve the natural resources, and also safeguard the health and safety of our workers and the people in the community we operate.”

To buttress his fact that GBC Ltd. does not pose any threat to the environment, he said the company does not have the right to cut trees within its concession. ”We seek permission from Forestry Department before we cut trees in our concession, the thick forests you are witnessing testify to this assertion.”

He noted that the company has been sponsoring brilliant but needy students in the community.

Responding to concerns about whether, any higher authority was monitoring their activities; Mr. Moore said ”we are closely monitored by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mines Department, and the District Assembly among others, who will sanction us if we break the laws governing us.”

He appealed to Government to help improve the railway system in the Region to enhance their activities.

Hon. Obbin, on behalf of the committee, said he was highly impressed about the activities of GBC Ltd. and the various strategies being adopted to protect the environment.

”They have not disturbed a small area of their total concession since 1941, also they are not using any dangerous chemicals, and even their spillage is just dirty water” he noted.

On the railway problem faced by the company, MP Obbin said the President, on his recent tour in the United States of America, signed an agreement to rehabilitate the railway system in the country especially those in the Western Region.

Mr. Obbin however sounded a word of caution, saying ”Everything shows that you are an environmentally friendly company but you should not be swollen headed, continue doing the good things you have been doing all these years.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Ishmael Oppong, Continuous Improvement Manager of (GBC) Ltd., has appealed to corporate bodies and Individuals to come and invest in the by-products of bauxite, which he claimed, when added with some additives, (Sulphuric Acid), could be used to produce alum for portable water treatment.

According to him, bauxite could also be used to produce roofing tiles and bricks for building besides the fact that it is a lucrative economic venture for profit and a source of employment for the youth in the community.

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