The Nyamebekyere Community in the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality of the Western Region has won the maiden edition of the Cleanest Community competition organised by Abosso Goldfields Limited (AGL).

Nine communities in the mine’s catchment area were assessed on waste disposal, toilet facilities, general hygiene, water usage and revenue management over a six-month period during this year.

AGL will construct a small water supply system for the Nyamebekyere community to improve access to potable water.

In addition, Nyamebekyere as well as second and third place winners, the Koduakrom and Kyekyewere communities, received a total of 300 plastic chairs, dozens of buckets, cleaning detergents and citations.

In his acceptance speech, the chief of Nyamebekyere, Nana Enimel Kuma, recalled how the community was abandoned by local authorities decades ago after residents assaulted sanitary inspectors.

Nana Kuma expressed gratitude to AGL for awarding the community, which is one of the smallest, with the coveted prize. He also assured that community members would continue to practice proper hygiene and keep their surroundings clean.

The programme, which was initiated by the Goldfields Ghana Foundation in collaboration with the Prestea Huni Valley Municipal Assembly, seeks to promote behavioural change and improve sanitation and health of residents of the mine’s host communities.

“We want to encourage proper sanitation and hygienic practices among residents in our host communities who are also our stakeholders,” said Abdel-Razak Yakubu, Community Affairs Manager at AGL.

“Improving sanitation will help Ghana achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6, which calls for availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation,” he added.

The Municipal Chief Executive for the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality, Mozart Owu, commended Gold Fields for being pacesetters in community development.

All nine participating communities, namely: Damang, Subri, Koduakrom, Kyekyewere, Nyamebekyere, Huni Valley, Amoanda, Bompieso and Abosso were provided with dozens of wheelbarrows, Wellington boots, scrubbing bushes, hand gloves and other cleaning equipment.

AGL will launch the 2019 edition of the competition in December.