Newmont has also signed an agreement with its host communities and the Birim North District Assembly on employment issues. The establishment of the Akyem Development Foundation is also on course to finance community development activities and educational scholarships, well into the future.
The Akyem Influx Programme seeks to mitigate the potentially negative effects of an increased population in the communities near the proposed mine. Below are initiatives in some key areas:
A 10-seater Vault Chamber toilet has been constructed for each of the project affected communities.
Newmont also has invested more than 1.3 million Ghana Cedis in the provision of waste disposal facilities and the construction of a modern sanitary landfill site for local communities.
More than 1,000 community food vendors and drinking spot operators were trained in hygiene practices, to ensure safe services to their patrons. Additionally, Newmont has helped to provide training in environmental hygiene, with an emphasis on malaria and cholera prevention, to more than 2,000 community members. Prevention training included proper hand-washing aimed at reducing illnesses in the project communities. To assist community members to combat malaria, 2,500 treated mosquito bed nets were distributed in the area.
A safe, reliable water supply is critical for everyone. Our efforts to address the needs of the Akyem mine communities include:
- Rehabilitating and expanding the New Abirem/ Afosu/ Mamanso and Ntronang water system;
- Constructing a new 280-cubic meter Elevated Service Tank to supply water to New Abirem;
- Constructing a small town water project for Adausena, Hweakwae and Old Abirem communities; and
- Providing mechanized boreholes to the New Abirem/ Afosu Senior High School and the New Abirem Government Hospital to ensure both institutions have potable water.
Newmont’s goal is to ensure that communities near the Akyem mine have access to health facilities with proper infrastructure. We have provided the New Abirem Government Hospital with facilities including construction of the following:
- Male, female and maternity wards;
- A three-bedroom doctor’s bungalow;
- Eight one-bedroom and four two-bedroom nurses quarters; and
- A mechanized borehole system for the 20-cubic meter water reservoir.
Newmont also has provided a maternity ward for Adausena community.
Local community members have participated in training on health issues such as HIV/ AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and sustained health education. This training is aimed at encouraging community members to manage their health responsibly and encourage dialogue through health education campaigns. Community peer groups also provide voluntary education activities in communities near the Akyem mine site.
Newmont’s investment in education infrastructure in the Akyem project area includes:
- Construction of a six-unit classroom block, office and storage facility for the New Abirem Local Authority Primary School;
- Construction of a six-unit classroom block, office and store for Ntronang Roman Catholic Primary School;
- Construction of a classroom block and offices for Afosu JHS; and
- Renovation of a four-unit classroom block, office and store of the Adausena Local Authority JHS
In 2012, 276 project beneficiaries were trained in various alternative livelihood program (ALP) ventures including:
- Cocoa hi-tech techniques;
- Bee keeping and honey production;
- Rural and commercial poultry production and management;
- Animal health and diseases management;
- Occupational health and safety;
- Post-harvest technology;
- Maize production; and
- Vegetable production.
Also in 2012 a working shed with smokeless stoves was constructed for palm oil processing at Hweakwae.
Newmont established 11 agricultural demonstration farms/ sites to aid the teaching and learning activities of agricultural technologies. The demonstration sites included cocoa hi-tech, maize, maize narrow crib and vegetables. We worked with more than 300 farmers on agricultural extension education, advisory and counseling services through on-farm demonstrations, house-to-house and farmer field day activities.
Additional youth and community training provided by Newmont in areas near the Akyem mine include:
- Group dynamics and leadership skill building;
- Heavy duty equipment operation;
- Bread baking and pastries production; and
- Business management skills.