AFRICAN Barrick Gold (ABG), through its Maendeleo Fund, has donated some 200 tonnes of maize worth 163m/- to assist thousands of members of communities affected by food shortages in Shinyanga and Geita regions.
The donation will benefit residents of 14 villages in Bugarama, Bulyanhulu and Mwingiro wards in Kahama District, Shinyanga Region, and Nyang'hwale District in the new administrative region of Geita.
ABG's Maendeleo Fund donated the food in response to an appeal for food aid made to ABG's Bulyanhulu Gold Mine by the Kahama District Commissioner's office in Shinyanga Region.
A food assessment survey conducted by government officials in Kahama District established that the Bugarama and Bulyanhulu wards, with a combined population in excess of 65,000 people, urgently required food aid of some 578.2 tonnes of maize.
ABG's Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Limited (BGML) located in Kahama District, Shinyanga Region, delivered the food aid to representatives of the affected districts.
"ABG saw the need in the community, which was caused by bad weather. It is evident that the situation has not been good for some time now, as one can see the maize crops have not matured as they normally would," said BGML's General Manager, Mr Dennis Hoof, during the handover ceremony at Bugarama village.
Kahama and Nyang'hwale districts have been hard hit by drought, seriously affecting production of maize as a staple food, hence diminishing the ability of scores of families to have enough food. Welcoming the contribution from ABG's Maendeleo Fund, the Kahama District Commissioner, Mr Benson Mpesya and his Nyang'hwale counterpart, thanked BGML for the assistance.
"We thank ABG for answering our request, a friend in need is a friend indeed ... Bulyanhulu gold mine has shown true kindness and good neighbourliness to our villages," said Mr Mpesya.
On his part, Nyang'hwale DC Ibrahim Marwa said the maize donation arrived in a timely manner since many villagers were facing serious food deficit.
The ABG Maendeleo Fund forms part of the company's commitment to contribute to sustainable development in Tanzania and help improve the quality of life in the communities where it operates.