Mining giants Goldfields Ghana have commissioned the recently reconstructed 33-kilometer road from Tarkwa to Damang in the Western Region.
The asphalt road built at a cost of $27 million is the largest public infrastructure project funded by the global gold firm.
The rehabilitation of the road was inspired by Goldfield’s shared value project of leaving a positive footprint in its operational area.
The road is therefore expected to significantly impact on the lives of over 40,000 residents in communities along the stretch by facilitating easy movement with the possibility of the springing up of new businesses and a boost in income-generating activities.
At a ceremony to commission the road, Group CEO of Goldfields Nick Holland said the project is a demonstration of the company’s desire to share the value that mining creates not just with its employees and shareholders, but also with all other affected stakeholders.
“As a leading global mining company, we are well aware of the huge responsibility that we bear to the environment, our employees, host communities, shareholders, and to the Government of Ghana.”
The joy of Mr. Holland is that the rehabilitated road will bolster economic activities for both the company and communities along it.
“This is a very important road for residents of our host communities as well as members of the public, who use the road either for business activities, to go to school or, simply to visit families and friends. Those who have used this road in the past, can attest to how tedious, stressful and time-consuming it was to travel the short distance from Tarkwa to Damang and vice-versa.
“It is therefore such a huge relief that travelers will no longer have to endure the long, bumpy and often dangerous ride. This includes the many Goldfields employees who use this road daily to get to work,” he said.
Western Region Minister Kobby Okyere Darko Mensah, who represented President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, stated that in order for communities not to wait long on government for projects, a strategy of Public-Private Partnership is vigorously being pursued.
He stated that one of such commendable results is the rehabilitation of the Tarkwa-Damang road.
“It is extremely important to note that Government attaches a lot of importance to the provision of infrastructure using its own annual budgetary allocations and also seeking funding from other sources especially, development partners. Consequently, a major strategy, as a country, is to seek partnerships. That is why we have in place a Public-Private Partnership policy in order that communities don’t wait too long in getting what they deserve in terms of good roads, health facilities, good drinking water”.
He commended the company for “meeting a critical need which is already yielding immense benefits to the communities along the stretch. They now have easier access to market centres thereby enhancing local economic activities”.
Traditional leaders in the beneficiary communities applauded Goldfields for rehabilitating the road and entreated them to extend it to their town roads.
A resident of Huni Valley, Mercy Arhin, 55, who has been using the road for the past forty years, recounted how tedious it was to ply it.
According to her since, the rehabilitation she can, for example, visit her farm twice in a day a task that hitherto was impossible and applauded Goldfields for the work.
The road was rehabilitated by four local contractors and is expected to last for more than 20 years.
The Ghana Highways Authority has been charged with the responsibility of managing and maintaining the road.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Western Region|Ghana