LIBERIA: As AML’s Phase Two Expansion Unfolds, Host Communities Thrilled over Sports Tournament
ArcelorMittal Liberia has begun its phase-two expansion project aimed at moving production to 30 million tons per annual.
The expansion promises to deliver huge economic benefits to Liberia and uplift the country’s mining portfolio-from the construction of an ore processing plant in Yekepa, Nimba County to increase in corporate social responsibility and community development.
The Phase two expansion assures growth and income generation for small and medium size enterprises, additional government revenue through taxes, royalties, as well as contributions to community development activities that are outside of the company’s contractual agreement with the government.
ArcelorMittal has also as part of its ongoing expansion plans an additional investment of millions of dollars to expand the capacity of the railway between Bassa and Nimba counties and to help the port of Buchanan augment its cargo handling potential for complex, huge logistic movement, increased shipment will guarantee rise in its income level.
But as these activities evolve, the host communities directly affected by the mining program in Grand Bassa, Nimba and Bong counties continue to be central to community and social development initiatives aside from the obligations to the central government.
These activities range for construction of schools, markets, hospitals, local and international scholarships, road construction and rehabilitation, sports tournaments supported by the company since its entry into Liberia.
It is with this commitment that the company last week organized and ran on its own a twelve teams’ kickball and football tournament to enable residents in the towns and villages closest to its operation interact through sports and hardness the spirit of unity and common purpose.
The towns and villages were grouped into community teams in each County.
For Grand Bassa County, Moore Town, Frank Diggs, Water and Sewer, and Barsigiah Town participated while in Bong County, Gbata, Botota, Rock Crusher and Zowenta towns were represented.
In Nimba County, Lugbeyee, Bonlah, Gbapa, New Yekepa, Zolowee, Sehykimpa, Sehyi-Geh, Makinto, Bunadin, Duo and other rail towns and villages sent teams to the three-day sports event under the theme: “Promoting Cohesion throughout Sports”
Grace Nenseh who captained the kickball team of Gbarpa Clan appreciated AML for organizing the tournament, and she thanked all other teams that participated in the tournament.
She said ArcelorMittal’s style of community engagement was “yielding fruits especially with their recent community scholarship program awarded to the affected communities”
‘We the youth are really happy for this” she said adding “we can’t be here and allow people to always fool us. We know what the company can do, and we want them to do more of this”.
Alberto Lama, Captain of Gbarpa football team to local reporters he’s grateful to AML for the tournament and expressed pleasure that his teammates were able to cooperate with their technical staff to win both the Kickball and soccer trophy.
Eugene C. Kettor who is the Head Coach for Gbarpa Kickball & Soccer team, was pleased saying: “many thanks and appreciation to AML for thinking about the youth in organizing football and kickball tournament for them.”
“Sport serves as one key factor in building community relationship”, while he pleaded with ArcelorMittal “to continue its goodwill” noting “this should not be the ending”.
Keter said as head coach, he’s prepared to win any other team coming his way.