ArcelorMittal Liberia and the leadership of Grand Bassa County have dedicated four newly completed development projects, funded through the Community Development Fund (CDF). The CDF is 20% of the company’s County Social Development Fund (CSDF) contribution, withheld for direct development initiatives in the mining communities of impact.
Worth more than US$288,000, the four projects are part of seven CDF projects that have been completed in Grand Bassa. They are the Siahn Public School construction, located in Siahn Town, near kilometer 31; Gorblee School Fencing project, Compound #3, near kilometer 45; FDA Market Construction, FDA intersection, near kilometer 58; and Duwein Market construction project, Duwein, near kilometer 68. They were implemented by Liberian contractors that were independently vetted.
The remaining completed projects yet to be dedicated are the Wee Radio station extension project in Compound #3, the construction of three handpumps in Neekreen Statutory District, and the construction of a community town hall in Moore’s Town, Buchanan City.
Since the launch of the CDF in 2020, Grand Bassa has benefited from a total of 22 projects, funded under the 20% CSDF contribution of AML.
At a turnover ceremony on Wednesday, Grand Bassa County Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh commended the AML management for the partnership and support and for living up to its commitment to delivering tangible contributions to communities directly impacted by its mining operations.
“ArcelorMittal, you’re in my heart. For me to sit here and see these modern structures, for our people, you’re one of the best corporate partners in Liberia, and we can clap for you, today,” Superintendent Baikpeh said.
“For us to come to this electoral district #4 today to dedicate four projects at once… this did not happen fourteen years ago, but today it is happening. And I want to be grateful to the Almighty God because the citizens themselves are taking ownership of their projects.”
AML Manager for Sustainable Development, Eric Swen, at the same time commended the superintendent and other members of the county’s leadership for their collaboration and dedication, which contributed to the success achieved.
“The dedication here today is a true testimony of the hard work and dedication of the superintendent,”
He encouraged members of the beneficiary communities to use and properly manage the new facilities.
Phillip Baryogar Jimmy, a resident of Siahn Town, praised AML for the modern school building, observing that it was a historic day to see the school being transformed from one constructed using mud-brick to a modern structure.
“On behalf of citizens of the Siahn area, I want to extend our thanks and appreciation to ArcelorMittal Liberia for this wonderful work you have done. I can remember when we used to walk to come under the mud to learn. Today, we have a modern school. Let God be with you, ArcelorMittal.”
Naomi J. Nagbe, Principal of the Gorblee Public School, also thanked AML for funding the fencing of the school’s facilities. Nagbe said the fencing of the school has increased security and attracted more students, with enrollment increasing to more than 800 in less than a year.
“Right now, my school has grown in enrollment. Right now, we need additional chairs and classrooms because the fence has increased security and attracted more parents to send their children to the school,” she said.