The county superintendent and residents of Grand Bassa have been piling praise on ArcelorMittal (AML) for the recent dedication of four landmark projects.
Through its Community Development Fund (CDF), which constitutes 20% of ArcelorMittal County Social Development Fund (CSDF) set aside for direct development initiatives in the mining communities of impact, the concession last week dedicated the new infrastructures leaving hundreds of residents rejoicing.
Projects dedicated include the Siahn Public School, 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 Clan, near kilometer 68.
They are worth more than US$288,000.
The local communities identified the projects before ArcelorMittal, implemented them through Liberian construction contractors independently vetted to have verifiable record of delivery.
As reported by the company, Grand Bassa County Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh celebrated 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.
Said Superintendent Baikpeh: “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,
He added, “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.”
Baikpeh was followed by dozens of local authorities and ordinary citizens how hailed AML for the gesture.
Phillip Baryogar Jimmy, a resident of Siahn Town praised AML for the modern school building, adding that it was a historic day to see the school being transformed from once constructed using mud bricks 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 use 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 AML for funding the fencing of the school 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.
According to reports, this brings to 22 the number of projects AML has funded under the 20% CSDF contribution since the establishment of the community development scheme in 2020.
AML officials say 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.
In another development, ArcelorMittal and community leaders are gearing up for the dedication of three playgrounds in Bassa, Nimba and Bong counties.