Construction of the first modern clinic in Gbapa near Yekepa township in Nimba is nearing completion, following ArcelorMittal Liberia’s US$85,000 contribution, to the project.
Since its existence, Gbapa has lacked a basic health facility for its more than 7,000 inhabitants, who travel a long distance to access healthcare services.
In addressing this situation, ArcelorMittal Liberia in a partnership with the town committed US$85,000 to fund the construction of a modern health facility. Residents of the town also accepted to take responsibility for the workmanship and provide local materials, including sand and crushed rocks.
Upon reaching the agreement with the locals, AML provided an initial amount of US$50,000 worth of building materials and delivered the remaining US$35,000 in cash, on May 23.
With this contribution, the construction of the health center is now approaching completion, with plumbing, ceiling, electrification, and plastering works currently ongoing.
Former Posts and Telecommunication Minister, Dr. Fredrick Norkeh who also resides in Gbapa is the head of the clinic construction project, representing the community. He said the project is a 24-room facility, that will be apportioned into different sections.
“It is a health center because it will have many areas where different functions will take place including maternity care,” Dr, Norkeh said.
He lauded AML for delivering fully on its commitment, to the people of Gbapa.
The project chairman recounted two incidents in the town on July 7 that resulted in the deaths of two community residents, and stressed the importance of the health center project, nothing that people would not have to lose their lives to curable illnesses. He meanwhile promised to work to ensure the successful completion of the project.
“The work should be completed in six months. In fact, by October or November, you will see a different form of the clinic project,” he said.
The head contractor, Cyrus G. Quoi also assured that the project will be completed by September, earlier than was earlier projected.
Dr. Norkeh called on the government to contribute as the center, when fully operational will also serve the people of surrounding towns and communities.
AML’s Intervention Brings Relief to G.W. Harley Hospital
It is becoming convincingly clear that embarrassment encountered by patients and staff of the G.W. Harley Hospital, especially during the rainy season will soon become history. It is one of the three major referral medical centers in Nimba County, but the buildings have been in dilapidated condition over time.
The hospital is beginning to take a new shape with the provision of US$45,000 in assistance, by ArcelorMittal Liberia, upon request by the hospital’s management.
In January, AML’s Government and Community Relations Manager, Marcus Wleh on behalf of the company presented a symbolic check of $45,000, disclosing AML’s resolve to ensure that the hospital is reroofed, painted, and re-electrified.
The hospital was in a poor state, with the roof profusely leaking, among other conditions, causing stress and embarrassment for staff and patients, especially during the rainy season. Patients were compared to placing buckets on their beds during heavy downpours of rains. But with the intervention of AML, these conditions would no longer exist, when renovation works are complete. The hospital would be back to its full capacity in a conducive and functional state.
In an interview, G.W. Harley Hospital’s Logistics Officer working with the contracted group carrying out the renovation, Peter Kula said the re-roofing of the facility is nearly completed, while painting work is as well halfway completed.
“Before ArcelorMittal could come in to help renovate this building, we were seriously embarrassed especially during the rainy season because the water was dropping on in-patients all over, but now we can say that only some little finishing touches need to be done now, on the roof,” Kula said. “The problem we used to encounter no longer exists.”
He said the hospital’s administration is also eagerly expecting the final approval of the electrical works to commence. While Jungle Energy Power is currently providing electricity to the hospital, he said the current wiring was poorly done, leading to constant outages.
“Whenever there is any electrical fault on any of the wires, the entire building will go out of the light until that part with the problem is repaired. We hope the wiring component of the project can be approved to correct all the faults to stop this other embarrassment,” Kula added.
Edmund Gbah, AML’s Community Relations Supervisor in Yekepa said ongoing community initiatives being sponsored by the company are essential to strengthening its relationship with its stakeholders. According to him, GW. Harley Hospital’s ongoing renovation is one of the essential projects the company decided to undertake, in the short term.
Even though the Government of Liberia has reached an agreement with AML for the relocation of the hospital, Gbah said the renovation is a quick impact project, for the benefit of the people of its mining impact communities.
He highlighted that in addition to the ongoing renovation of the hospital, other community projects like the Zolowii Public School renovation, the installation of streetlights in Yekepa, and the ongoing Gbapa clinic construction are indicators that AML is a responsible corporate entity.