Liberia’s first and largest commercial gold mine, Bea Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC), has presented a cheque of US$450,000 as clan development funds to three clans in Grand Cape Mount County.
The three clans, Darblo, Mana and Laar, Gola Konneh District, each received the sum of US$150,000 to undertake projects in their respective areas.
According to the media team of Bea Mountain, the funds were officially presented by BMMC General Manager for Country Affairs, Debar Allen to stakeholders of the three clans in the presence of their County Superintendent, Aaron Vincent, during a meeting held at Camp David on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.
The General Manager further indicated that the money will be used for the implementation of several community-driven projects in the Laar, Mana and Darblo clans.
With previous funding provided by the management of Bea Mountain, several projects are currently on-going across the three clans. Some of these projects are the construction of the Than’s health facility, Varguaye’s health facility, Weajue Public School’s renovation, M’baloma Maternity Waiting Home’s construction, M’baloma’s health facility staffs’ residence construction, Janne-mana Peace Town Hall, Beh-Gondor Clinic and Gold Camp Town Hall.
Allen said, “Most people tend to forget the history of this clan funds. But, if Fofana can recall, when we were starting in the Ndblama area they brought me one long list of things they wanted the company to do. And we ended up with the idea, ‘Let’s put this thing back in the hands of the various clans.’ Today, after series of protests, today we have a clan fund. We hope that even the government can learn from us, that our people at the very local level are capable of managing their projects. We just need check and balance, but they can manage it. I always had the confidence that they could do it; that’s why I brought that idea, and today it is proving right.”
He also admonished local contractors implementing the community-driven developments not to allow any of BMMC’s funded projects to turn to what he termed “White Elephant Projects”, which he said happens when a contractor fails to complete a particular project and starts another one.
The BMMC General Manager for Country Affairs has at the same time called on local county authorities, as well as citizens of the three clans, to properly manage and maintain the projects, which would greatly impact their lives.
“On behalf of our CEO, our General Manager, Mr. Reza Karimiyan, and our entire team here at Bea Mountain Mining Corporation I’m honored to present this cheque to leaders of our host communities through your office. As we have started, let’s continue to use these resources. Lets continue to work progressively. Let’s continue to ensure that the funds that we receive we use them for the benefit of our communities. And when we do that, we on the company side make a commitment that, as long as that resource we are mining is there, we will continue to provide these funds,” he added.
On the issue of bureaucracy in accessing the funds, GM Allen said the BMMC management will look into what needs to be done to reduce the difficulties, but emphasized that check and balance will be maintained to ensure proper management of the funds.
Receiving the cheque on behalf of the three clans, Grand Cape Mount County Superintendent, Aaron B. Vincent, thanked Bea Mountain for the funds and promised that his citizens will use the money to implement meaningful development projects in their communities.
Superintendent Vincent stated, “Bea Mountain you have done well. Now we have seen the tangibles, and we can see the physical again, and we know more tangibles will come.”
The Grand Cape Mount County Superintendent then encouraged members of the Project Management Committee from the three clans to submit a comprehensive report to his office detailing how the first money provided by BMMC was expended.