11 June 2018

Liberia - Cemenco Block Production Training Gaining Momentum

Ganta, Nimba County — Several block makers in the densely populated City of Ganta, Nimba County were on Saturday, June 9, 2018 certificated, after a day-long thorough block production training.

The latest block production training is the second edition outside Monrovia by the Liberia Cement Corporation (CEMENCO) Block Maker Academy Program.

The previous edition outside Monrovia was held in the Port City of Buchanan, Grand Bsaasa where several block makers benefited from the program.

The CEMENCO Block Maker Academy Program is an initiative embarked upon by the Liberian owned cement company aimed at teaching block makers in the country how to make quality blocks by knowing the quantity of materials to produce a block.

According to the company's management, the block making training is being carried out once a month in all the counties and subsequently, it would be carried out two and three times a month in the various parts of the country.

Giving the Safety Orientation at the Ganta City Training Program, Mr. Nathaniel Pritchard, the Safety, Health and Environment Manager at CEMENCO, began by thanking the authorities of Ganta City for the warm reception accorded the CEMENCO Team, describing the people of the city as "wonderful".

Pritchard informed the participants: "We at CEMENCO take safety very seriously. It is a cardinal issue. As you can see before you start your work, we provided you your Personal Protective Equipment-PPEs, which include: shovels, boots, gloves, helmets, noise protectors, wheel barrows, shovels, among others."

The CEMENCO official, who dispelled perception by some people that cement is dangerous and that it can cause cancer, identified safety, health, environment and quality as CEMENCO's targeted policies, something he recalled, the company has been doing since 50 years.

Contrary to the perception, he clarified that such perception is far from the truth and urged those harboring such perception to disabuse their minds of it.

"This is why we at CEMENCO prioritize safety. It is not only at our compound, but also outside. We ensure our employees are well-equipped, uniformed and the environment in which they work are secured and protected at all times. If you do not work in a safe and protected environment, you could be injured while you are working and at the end, you will be liabilities instead of assets not only to your families, but also to your communities., " the CEMENCO's Safety, Health and Environment Manager accentuated.

He then urged the participants to always adhere to safety measures, saying they are cardinal for the enhancement of their safety and block production, stressing: " Safety First, Safety Last."

CEMENCO's Logistics and Shipping Manager, Mr. Robert O. Marshall, who gave the overview of the CEMENCO Block Maker Academy Program, emphasized that the training is intended to enhance quality block making.

Marshall intoned: "Having realized that majority of those who use our cement are the block makers, we decided to open the CEMENCO Block Maker Academy Program to help you improve in the production of block making. "

Marshall then encouraged the block makers and the entire Liberian populace to always use CEMENCO made cement, because it is of high quality.

"In addition of our high quality, we are Liberian owned and so our contribution to the nation's economy is by far greater than any cement company," he bragged.

"Furthermore, unlike other cement importers, we have never gone out of stock because our products are made right here," he mentioned.

"Whatever materials you are working with, will go to you. Each of you will also receive 10 bags of cement, including transportation reimbursement.

But this is not intended for you to sell the materials, but for your own empowerment. We will do follow up to ensure that you are on track with the program," the CEMENCO's Logistics and Shipping Manager told the participants.

He disclosed that the blocks produced by the them-participants will be given to the office of the City Mayor for any project the office intends to undertake.

In addition to the produced blocks, the company donated 50 bags of cement towards said endeavor- all part of its corporate responsibility to the people of Nimba County.

For his part, CEMENCO's Production Manager, Mr. Wesley Tarnue, started his presentation by recognizing one Nanlay Barlea, the first female to participant in the CEMENCO Block Maker Academy Program since the program kicked off, terming her enrollment in the program, as "historic".

Tarnue expressed the hope of more female participation in a bid to reflect gender balance.

Like Marshall, Tarnue also emphasized that the training is the company's own way of helping block makers to make quality bricks for the people of Liberia.

Tarnue drilled the participants through the standards involved in making lasting bricks for their customers, stating that though the process is a tedious one, they-participants are capable of doing it if they are willing.

He explained to the participants the types of cement that CEMENCO is producing, boasting that the highest quality of cement is being produced at the Liberia-owned company-CEMENCO.

However, the CEMENCO's Production Manager indicated that, "because many people miss out on the exact measurement to use in order to make more profit, the end product is most at times not guaranteed".

"I want to use this time to admonish you to always use the rightful measurement following this training. When you are making your block, it should not only be meant for profit making, but quality must always be your hallmark," the CEMENCO's Production Manager asserted.

He reminded the participants that they were being trained in order to train others, and by doing so, the initiative would be enhanced and people driven.

Before the start of the training, the City Mayor of Ganta City, Mr. Amos N.G. Suah, wholeheartedly welcomed the CEMENCO Team to the city, saying " You are highly welcomed to Ganta City, feel at home and I wish you a successful program, which I consider timely and prudent."

While affirming his administration overwhelming support to the CEMENCO Block Maker Academy Program in Ganta City, yea Nimba County, Mayor Suah said the initiative by the Liberian owned cement company would not have come no better time than now when there is a dire need for the empowerment of youth in the bustling city.

He assured CEMENCO that his leadership will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that this human empowerment program is sustained not only Ganta, but the entire county.

Against this backdrop, the Ganta Mayor challenged the beneficiaries to utilize the skills and knowledge acquired from the training for the betterment of themselves, their communities, the county and the country at large.

While terming the block production training as magnificent, the local government official further challenged the beneficiaries to also make maximum use of the equipment given them by CEMENCO for their own empowerment.

Meanwhile, the participants in a joyous mood, lauded the management of CEMENCO for contributing to the human resource development of the ordinary Liberians.

They assured the company that the skills and knowledge gained will be used wisely and that they will also use the equipment given them for the intended purpose.

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