Gold Fields Ghana has officially commissioned the reconstructed 33-km Tarkwa-Damang road in the Western Region of the country.
The asphalt road, which costs over ¢145-million and has a life span of over 20 years, links Tarkwa and Damang, two communities that host Gold Fields’ mines.
The road also serves several communities in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem and Prestea Huni-Valley municipalities. It is the largest-ever public infrastructure project funded by the global Gold Fields Group.
A baseline study conducted by Gold Fields in 2017 found that communities along the corridor, such as Abosso, Bompieso, Amoanda, Huni-Valley, Kyekyewere, Nyamebekyere, Damang and others will be positively impacted by the reconstructed road.
The road is expected to ease transportation of people, goods and services as well as boost economic activities in the area. Other anticipated socio-economic impacts include improved road safety, availability of pedestrian facilities such as bus stops, as well as a reduction in dust pollution.
Ghanaian contractors, who employed the vast majority of their workforce from the local communities, undertook the construction of the road. The Ghana Highway Authority will manage and maintain the road.
“This road will have a significant and measurable impact on the lives of the people in our host communities. Apart from enhancing employment and income generation, this road cuts travel times by more than half and reduces the safety risks of travelling on a bad road,” said Alfred Baku, Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields in West Africa.
Infrastructure remains a key investment area for Gold Fields in addition to investments in education, health, agriculture as well as water and sanitation.
The company is set to begin the reconstruction of the Tarkwa & Abosso (T&A) park, as well as undertake a comprehensive upgrade of the Apinto Government Hospital, both located in Tarkwa.
When completed, the stadium will seat 10,400 people, compared with the current seating capacity of 400.
The hospital will have a new medical hub with a fully equipped accident and emergency centre, a renal and dialysis centre as well as an operating theatre. Gold Fields is investing close to ¢100-million in the two projects.
“We believe in sharing the value we create from our operations with our stakeholders, and members of our host communities are critical stakeholders for us,” Mr Baku added.
The Gold Fields Ghana Foundation, which funds most of the community investment and infrastructure projects and programmes by the company, has invested over ¢465-million in host communities since its launch in 2004.