ArcelorMittal and community dwellers in Bong and Nimba counties are gearing up for the dedication of two newly constructed playgrounds.
Nimba’s Camp #4 in the mining town of Yekepa and Zoweinta in Bong County are two locations where the dedications are expected to place in over just a week.
ArcelorMittal and its partners hired a Liberian construction firm who has constructed the playgrounds and temporarily turned them over to community leadership until dedication takes place.
Hundreds of children in Yekepa Camp 4 and Zoweinta are expected to use the facilities which AML considers key for early childhood development.
The playground is equipped with “mary go round”, swings, seesaws, slides, monkey bar, jungle gym, and other equipment”.
It is solar enabled to permit use at night and ensure safety of children.
A third playground is being built in Frank Diggs Town in Nuewein Administrative District, Grand Bassa County.
The project which worth thousands of dollars is part of AML’s Phase 2 Expansion- an additional 1.2 billion to be invested in mining, rail, and processing.
ArcelorMittal said, its target is to ensure that more children in different host communities that are affected by its operations stand ready to gain huge variety of skills from these playgrounds.
“It is expected these kids will develop coordination, social awareness, language and so much more from these facilities”, one of the contractors working on the project disclosed.
The communities benefiting from the playground are those close to its mining and logistics operations.
As stated earlier, in Liberia, today’s children are overwhelmed with an abundance of activities and fewer opportunities to enjoy outside play.
Social media, TV shows Video games, after-school activities, and their academics demands are leading to disappearing playgrounds and playtime, especially that since the end of war many families are focused on acquisition of plots of land to build homes.
In fact, community playgrounds have been increasingly disappearing and being replaced by houses.
Notwithstanding, ArcelorMittal Liberia has recognized that recreational activities are a key part of the development of children and has embarked on a drive to construct playgrounds in its host communities in Nimba, Grand Bassa, and Bong Counties.
As part of its concession area and host communities’ facilities improvement and or engagement drive, ArcelorMittal Liberia’s management has made the conscious decision to give children safe and conducive venues to play and exercise close to their homes.
In December 2022, the company completed and dedicated a modern children’s playground in its Buchanan concession area.