MNG Gold Donates Rice to Gbarnga Central Prison Amid ‘Food Shortage’

GBARNGA, Bong – MNG Gold Liberia, the Turkish gold mining company operating in Kokoyah Statutory District, has donated 25 bags of rice to the Gbarnga Central Prison for use in feeding the inmates of the prison.

MNG Gold’s government and community relations supervisor, Eugene J. M. Kollie, presented the items on behalf of the company, noting that the intervention was a result of an appeal from Bong’s acting county superintendent, Anthony Sheriff.

Kollie said Sheriff recently engaged the company to assist the prison with rice to feed the inmates.

“Today, we deemed it necessary to come and present these 25 bags of rice to you so that you can give to our brothers and sisters that are in prison. We believe that doing these things will make us connect positively and do the right things for our people in Bong County and Liberia. On behalf of MNG Gold Liberia, we present the rice to you,” Kollie said, as he presented the rice to Sheriff.

Administrators at the prison said the overcrowded facility had run out of food to feed the inmates, prompting the intervention.

Kollie said the donation was one of the ways the company was engaging communities in Bong to ensure improved relationship with the citizens and the government.

Receiving the rice, Sheriff, the acting superintendent, thanked the management of the company for the assistance to the prison.

He termed the donation by MNG Gold Liberia as a “show of partnership and corporation.”

“Thank you for this good gesture. We know that you have your own challenges, but we appreciate this. This is [a] community-based partnership,” Sheriff said.

During the presentation of the rice to the Gbarnga Central Prison through the county authority, Lloyd N. Ngwayah, the public relations officer of MNG Gold also praised the county’s leaders for their intervention in helping resolve a November 5, 2018 incident in Kokoyah that led to the wanton destruction and looting of the company’s facilities.

Ngwayah said even though there are resource challenges, MNG Gold will strive to assist the government in addressing rising local and national humanitarian situations.

The Gbarnga Central Prison was originally constructed to house 130 inmates but now holds 289 inmates. Of this number, 199 are pretrial detainees, according to the head of the prison security, Richard Mulbah.

Mulbah also extended appreciation to MNG Gold Liberia for the donation and appealed to national government and other institutions to help the prison with food and other sanitary materials.

In a related development in MNG Gold’s effort to improve its relationship with neighboring communities, the company has procured materials to rehabilitate 36 damaged hand pumps it constructed along with other organizations within 10 towns and villages in the company’s immediate operation area.

“The rehabilitation of these hand pumps is part of the company [corporate social responsibility’s] Community Assistance Initiatives aimed at ensuring safe drinking water for residents of the company immediate host communities,” Ngwayah told The Bush Chicken.

Ngwayah said the rehabilitation of hand pumps is a result of a request made in the monthly meeting hosted by MNG. There, community members asked the company to help provide safe drinking water, pay teachers whose names are not on the government’s payroll, and complete the newly constructed school in David Dean Town.

Essential water pump repair materials purchased by MNG Gold. Photo: Eugene Kollie.

The cost of the rehabilitation of the 36 hand pumps is US$6,520, according to Kollie.

Recently, MNG Gold also donated relief items to families of victims of the disaster at a gold mine in Nimba. The disaster had claimed the lives of over 40 people.

The donated materials included 75 bags of rice, 10 cartons of soaps, 200 liters of cooking oil, and 100 sacks of water. Kollie put the cost of that donation at more than US$5,000.

Featured photo by Moses Bailey

Moses Bailey

Moses started his journalism career in 2010 as a reporter at Radio Gbarnga. In 2011, the Press Union of Liberia recognized him as the Human Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2017, he was the Development Reporter of the Year. He is also an Internews Health Journalism Fellow. Moses is also the regional coordinator for NAYMOTE-Liberia, an organization working with youth to promote democratic governance.

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