Nana Amoakwa III unveils the plaque with support from Mr. Peet Van Schalkwy, to officially commission the clinic

The people of Damang and its environs in the Western Region last Wednesday heaved a sigh of great relief as Gold Fields Ghana Damang Mine handed over an ultra-modern Community Clinic and Nurses’ quarters to the Chief and people of the area.
The project, funded by Gold Fields Ghana Foundation at a cost of GH¢268,000.00, would offer the people easy access to quality health care and save them the drudgery of travelling long distances to Huni Valley Health Centre and Tarkwa Government Hospital.
Inaugurating the project last Wednesday at Wassa Damang in the Western Region, Peet Van Schalkwyk, Executive Vice President and Head of West Africa Operations, intimated that from 2002 to date, Gold Fields Ghana Limited operating in  Damang and Tarkwa, had invested a total of GH?28 million in its catchment communities.

The areas in which the company had invested were education, conservation and environment, skills development, housing, arts and culture, health, sports and charitable donations and gifts in kind.
He said Gold Fields Ghana had emerged as a leader in sustainable gold mining because the company believed that it was important to gain, maintain and renew its ‘social license’ to operate from its stakeholder communities.
Van Schalkwyk said though the company had planned to commence the Greater Damang Project and the Tarkwa Expansion Project Phase 6, government had proposed a windfall profit tax of 10 per cent for mining companies, corporate tax was to be increased from 25 per cent
to 35 per cent and capital allowance had been reduced to 20 per cent in a year.

Alfred Baku, Vice President, Operations, Gold Fields Ghana Limited, hinted that the company had also trained community health facilitators as part of the staff for the community clinic to provide first aid and health education to the communities.
Francis Adu-Blay Kwofie, Member of Parliament for Prestea – Huni Valley commended Gold Fields Ghana Limited as one company which would never shirk its corporate social responsibilities and asked the chief and people of Damang to constantly maintain the health
facility.
He appealed to some chiefs and opinion leaders in the area who abused the local content employment quota offered them to change their attitude towards their own people during recruitment.
“Research conducted recently revealed that instead of helping the mining companies to recruit youngsters from our area, these chiefs and opinion leaders allegedly collect money from youngsters outside to pose as natives of this area”.
Nana Amoakwa III, Chief of Wassa Damang who chaired the function praised the mining company for providing the town with the project, stressing it emanated from cordiality and peaceful co-existence between the people and the company.
Dr. Linda Vanotoo, Western Regional Director of Health Services called on the staff of the new community clinic to give disease prevention and control a priority and asked clients to seek help from the clinic early.
Dr. Toni Aubynn, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Mines who was represented, said the Chamber had recognized that the 5.5 per cent out of the total mineral revenue which goes directly to the communities was woefully inadequate.
He therefore stated that the Chamber was advocating for 30 per cent of total mineral royalties to be returned to mining communities over a specific period of time and tied to specific infrastructural projects in order to catalyze the socio-economic development of the mining
communities.

From Sam Mark Essien, Wassa Damang

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