BARRICK Gold Corporation plans to spend 5.75bn/- to finance development projects in 11 villages surrounding North Mara Gold Mine.
"This money is available and it is the budget for 2019 and we will come up with the new budget for 2020," said North Mara Gold Mine Sustainable Communities Manager Mr Richard Ojendo in a traders' meeting in Tarime recently.
He said the 5.75bn/- will be directed to fund improvement of social services, which include rural roads, water, health and education, being the priority.
He said that in the programme, part of road passing through Nyamongo centre will be upgraded to tarmac level.
Mr Ojendo further said that the scheme would cover financing the construction of a Vocational Training College (VETA) locally to boost technical training opportunities for large number population of students completing Secondary and Primary School education in the area.
He said that the mining firm is currently working close with Tarime District Council procurement officials to coordinate the process of sourcing local contractors, who will execute the projects.
"It is a competing process and our work as Barrick will be to pay those who will be awarded tenders to execute the projects," he added.
This time around the mining company has created an opportunity for traders from all parts of Tarime district to execute the projects, instead of giving priority to some few who hail in the nearby villages.
In addition, the Communities Manager noted that they would now be allocating substantial amount of money to support local development in the communities around the mine.
Tarime District Commissioner (DC) Eng Mtemi Msafiri said the decision by the mining company to accept involvement of contractors from other parts of the district like Tarime town will have multiple economic benefits in the area.
"5.75bn/- is huge money and it will have many benefits to our citizens in Tarime ", Eng Msafiri said. The Tarime DC, who called for the traders meeting urged local contractors to be honest and provide high standard work that will keep them in the market for quite long time.