7 July 2017

Liberia: Turkish Mining Company Rehabilitates Roads in Bong County

Citizens of districts one and two in Bong County have expressed gratitude to MNG Gold Liberia Incorporated for responding speedily to rectifying the bad state of their road, which had fallen into disrepair since the beginning of the rainy reason.

The roads are the Sayehwheh town to Zaryee town Road linking Boinsein District to Kpaii District (36 Miles), the David Deans Town to Botota Road linking Boinsein District to Turkpablee District (27 Miles), the Botota to Gargar Town Road within Turkpablee District (19 Miles), and the Borbor Fire Town to Lehleh Town Junction Road linking Boinsein Distrct to Jorquelleh District #2 (33 Miles).

The company, which is exploring and developing advanced gold mining with a wealth in excess of US$2 billion, is Liberia's second commercial gold mining company with a concession area located in Kokoyah Statutory District, Bong County, and in some parts adjacent to Grand Bassa and Nimba Counties.

The rehabilitation process by the company is connecting to Grand Bassa County.

The residents explained to FrontPage Africa that they have been suffering neglect and faced terrible times since the rainy season began due to flooding in the area, which had also affected their businesses.

Kokoyah district Paramount Chief, Togar Glaybo, revealed how his son's business had not enjoyed good patronage because the road was impassable, adding that the absence of bicycle was a big challenge, and that he was gladdened when repairs started.

"With the ongoing road rehabilitation work, there will be opportunity for citizens to access their houses, and businesses are bound to flourish," he said.

Meanwhile, the company's Public Relations Officer, Lloyd Ngwayah,said it is the company's commitment to always place the welfare of citizens on the front burner.

"We will continue to respond to the needs of our people through outreach. We have been doing it for them before and we can still do it for them," he said.

In July 2014 up to June 30th2017, according to the Public Relations Officers of the company, the company has contributed cash, chairs, zinc, cements, other materials to community projects, and also provided hand pumps to communities within its operation area.

Ngwayah said the company donated computers, scanners, generators, and office desks to both the administration of Kokoyah Statutory District and Bong County.

In addition, he added, during the height of the Ebola epidemic from 2014 to 2015, MNG gold also provided several drugs and Ebola preventive materials worth over US$50,000 to all six main clinics in Kokoyah Statutory District, the Ebola Treatment Center in Gbarnga and the government-owned John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia.

The Company is also constructing a new road from Sayewheh Town to the Peters' Town Crossing Point on the St. John River linking Grand Bassa County and Bong County.

When completed, according to citizens, the roads would directly enable thousands of people from towns and villages in Bong, Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties to easily access basic social services and carry on local economic activities.

There were also major contributions and donations made to organizations located within its immediate concession area.

On April 19, 2015, the company donated $1,000 United States dollars and one hundred Bags of cement to the David Deans Town Marketing Association.

In December 2015, MNG Gold Liberia through the Office of Bong Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor gave US$10,000 as scholarship contribution for Bong County students attending the Bong County Technical College.

The company also gave US$500 to the Boinsein Youth Parliament during its fund raising rally in 2016.

The project currently employed 345 Liberians and 182 (mainly) Turkish Expatriates.

The major mine infrastructure includes open pits, ore stockpiles, waste rock dumps, processing plant, tailing management facility, mine camp,

Since acquiring the Kokoyah MDA from AmLib United Minerals Inc. in 2014, there have been numerous direct benefits to communities and institutions in its operation area.

These include roads and bridges rehabilitation, compensation to damaged crop owners, local community projects contributions, direct social development fund, scholarship fund, donations to district and county projects, ongoing modern high school and police station construction - with officers' living quarters - and sustain stakeholders' engagement processes in enhancing public relations.

Since 2002 up to 2015, there has been some protracted dissatisfaction from citizens leading to potential conflict situations between citizens of Kokoyah Statutory District and MNG Gold Liberia and its predecessor AMLIB United Mineral.

The dissatisfaction has been based on the limited benefits of the company's operation as a result of centralized payment of social development funds to the government.

On February 6, 2015, the company and Citizens of Kokoyah Statutory District signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which gives direct benefits to the district by the company in addition to its annual payment to the Government as social development fund.

The company pays US$6,000.00 annually as payment to Kokoyah Statutory District as contribution to district development.

The company, as part of the MOU, also pays US$10,000.00 annually as scholarship fund to deserving Kokoyah Statutory District students attending colleges in the country.

MNG Gold has assisted with the rehabilitation of roads and bridges in Kokoyah Statutory District.

The company also paid owners of damaged crops caused by direct operations of the company. The company also provided primary and secondary education for its employees' children dependents and the public.

The company is training Liberians within its employ as a means of qualifying them for skills, technical, administrative, and managerial positions within the company; "The company is ensuring decent living quarters for its local employees, equipped with electricity, safe drinking water, and sanitation facilities," Ngwayah said.

Continuing, he added: "In our employ, we have Liberians and with preference given to citizens of Kokoyah."

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