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Asanko urged to prioritise development of communities

Ashanti regional Minister Simon Osei-Mensah has urged management of Asanko Gold in the Amansie West district of the region to deepen relations with their communities of operation and engage them the more, especially on issues regarding jobs and things that directly affect the lives of the people in the area.

This, according to the minister, will help to greatly reduce the many suspicions that local people harbour which, in most cases, lead to unnecessary confrontations with mining companies.

“It is really necessary for you to constantly engage the communities on your operations so as to build sustainable and effective partnership in building this community, for them to know what really goes on the grounds,” said Mr Osei-Mensah when he and members of the Ashanti Regional Security Council paid a visit to the mine.

According to the Minister, for the company to operate without facing the wrath of the youth, the company should prioritise the needs of the youth and act accordingly in their capacity.

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The Executive Corporate Affairs Manager of Asanko, Frederick Attakumah, revealed to the Ashanti regional Minister that the company was losing hope in traditional authorities since they rather endorse applicants who are not from the catchment area.

The Minister and his entourage visited the company to know and help address issues confronting them and their communities. The regional Minister’s visit to the mines was also to check operational activities and also help find remedies to petitions filed by residents.

The General Manager (Operations) at Asanko, Charles Amoah, explained how the company had helped in addressing some of the needs of the communities.

He said Asanko Gold partnered with some companies from Germany and Canada to build a library for the community to enhance teaching and learning and also to train the youth in vocational skills in 2016.

Mr Amoah added that the company had also built a cooperative credit union to provide access to credit for small businesses within the communities and a 200kVA/0.44kV power transformer to the community to replace the failed unit.

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To contribute to health delivery, the mine has planned on delivering medical supplies and equipment to the various health facilities in the communities this year.

Charles Amoah, however, blamed the recent flooding of the community on excessive rainfall which was beyond their control, adding that they have, hence, arranged alternative accommodation for the victims, while they are constructing new channels to permanently divert runoff from the community.

The Minister and his deputy, Madam Elizabeth Agyeman, the Ghana Fire Service, the Immigration Service, the Military Service, the Prison Service, and other security services accompanied him on the visit.