Workers of FGR Bogoso-Prestea Mine (FGRBPM) have presented a cash amount of $10,000 to the Prestea-Huni Valley Municipal Assembly to be used as seed money for the setting up of an endowment fund to cater for the educational needs of children of parents or guardians whose livelihoods were affected by the Appiatse explosion.
The seed money was raised from the daily marks (daily salary calculation) and overtime allowances of workers of the mining company.
Environment and Community Relations Manager of FGRBPM Robert Gyamfi stated that the decision to help set up the endowment fund came about after the mine workers assessed the support and donations made so far (by companies, groups, and individuals after the incident), and identified a critical need that had not yet been addressed.
“Since the incident happened, there has been a genuine demonstration of goodwill and support from all over, and that is extremely commendable. However, as a member of the Appiatse Disaster Relief Committee at the Municipal level, and being actively involved in coordinating the relief activities, it was easy for me to identify the areas that had not been adequately addressed,” said Mr. Gyamfi.
He further explained that one of those areas that needed attention was the educational needs of children who had lost a parent or both, or who have had one parent or both parents wounded to the point where daily educational support for their children was going to be a challenge.
“When I informed my colleagues, who had formed a Workers’ Appiatse Response Committee, to support victims of the disaster, there was no hesitation to help in this regard, in addition to providing support in other areas. It is our prayer and expectation that the endowment fund will receive additional and continuous support from other sources to sustain it,” he added.
An exercise is ongoing to determine the exact number of children who fall in this category, as well as the level of support that will be provided through the fund.
The workers of FGRBPM seem committed to provide extra funding in the future to stabilize the fund, once the necessary governance and other modalities have been put in place.
According to Mr. Gyamfi, beyond providing the $10,000.00 seed money for the endowment fund, the workers also donated items worth $15,000 to the victims of the disaster.
He made all these known when he was speaking to the media after the mine, FGRBPM, presented an undisclosed cheque to the Prestea-Huni Valley Municipal Assembly for the purchase of a submersible pump.
The pump is to help automate boreholes and ensure efficient and reliable water delivery at the Dumasi resettlement site – an area which the company has temporarily given to the municipal assembly to camp victims of the explosion.
Since the explosion and the setting up of the camp for the community, FGRBPM has been providing water taker services to the camp inhabitants.
Mr. Gyamfi disclosed that technical reports have been completed, which confirm that water from the boreholes are wholesome for consumption.