ArcelorMittal Liberia has dedicated the first-ever community playgrounds in two of its host communities in Grand Bassa and Bong counties.
The two dedications took place last week in St John’s Frank Diggs Town in Grand Bassa County and in Zoweinta, Bong County with dozens of community dwellers participating.
The dedications come after a month of construction work by Liberian engineers who were hired to build three playgrounds in Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa counties.
A third playground is awaiting dedication in the Camp 4 area of Yekepa, in Nimba County.
Speaking at the dedication of the facility in St Josh on Wednesday April 26, 2023, Wayzohn City major Elwin Weljay thanked ArcelorMittal for the project and said the district was “pleased with this initiative”.
He warned community dwellers against removal of solar lights installed around the playground and vowed that the local authority will use the law to punish anyone who did so.
Weljay was speaking in relation to the recent theft of solar lights installed at the yet to be dedicated playground in Yekepa’s Camp #4 in Nimba County.
Said Major Weljay: “I hope this should not just be here. It should be utilized and maintained”
“I want to warn you, somebody said they stole lights to other places. I can guarantee that anyone who steals any of the lights at this playground will be delt with according to the law”.
He admonished the community to be positive towards the ArcelorMittal gestures saying “lets maintain them. Let’s not destroy the facility”.
ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Eric Swen who manages the company’s Sustainable Development portfolio said the construction of the playground is an example of a cordial relationship between the company and local people for many years now.
Said the company is committed to works with local communities and the government to achieve deliverable that can help transforms lives.
Early this year, ArcelorMittal started the construction of three new playgrounds in Nimba, Grand Bassa and Bong Counties to provide children the opportunity to cultivate social, emotional, cognitive, and physical abilities.
Community Playgrounds built by AML additionally offer a wide range of benefits that go far beyond aesthetics to give kids fun to do away from the classroom and regular home play.
They are at the heart of the selected communities and an indispensable gathering space that can benefit all children.
The dedication of the two playgrounds comes a week after ArcelorMittal Liberia and the leadership of Grand Bassa County turned over 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, in Compound #3 near kilometer 45; the FDA Market Construction, at FDA Junction near kilometer 58, and the Duwein Market construction project, located in Duwein, near kilometer 68. They were implemented by Liberian contractors that were independently vetted.
Details are being worked out to dedicate the remaining completed projects which include, an extension to Wee Radio on Compound #3 and the construction of three handpumps