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Sierra Rutile constructing and rehabilitating community buildings in its area of operations

Sierra Rutile constructing and rehabilitating community buildings in its area of operations

As part of its commitment to socio-economic development amongst the mining communities in its area of operations, mining company Sierra Rutile Ltd has had a productive year so far, completing various construction and rehabilitation works on local community buildings.

The list of projects includes the construction of a six class-room school and the complete rehabilitation of a local mosque, as well as the donation of cement and roofing zinc to the YWCA for the construction of a school for girls, and roofing zinc for the refurbishment of another local mosque.

Sierra Rutile’s first project of the year – the construction of new Le 264 million school building has saved the 120 pupils of RC Nyandehun School, in Nyandehun village, Imperi Chiefdom from an onerous daily routine which involved carrying chairs, benches and tables from their homes to the two crowded and crumbling barries used for their school, then returning them at the end of a school day.

The recently completed school building houses six classrooms, as well an office, a modern toilet and a store for the Head Teacher. Other facilities include a toilet block for school children and a 5000L water tank. Sierra Rutile contracted ECO- Construction Enterprise, a locally owned company to handle the building works, which injected further income into the community. An additional Le30 million will be spent on the furnishing the class rooms.

The school’s headmaster, Alieu Ansumana, has been a teacher in the village for 20 years. He said: “I believe this is the beginning of a new era in education not only for Nyandehun village but also for the surrounding communities. Just after the school was completed a lot of parents from nearby villages and towns started expressing interest in sending their children to RC Nyandehun. We thank God for Sierra Rutile who made this possible.”

Lower Banta Chiefdom has benefited from the modern facelift that the once dilapidated Matagelema Central Mosque has received from Sierra Rutile. The building, which is central to the Muslim community in the area, had fallen into disrepair.   It has now been completely overhauled and updated both inside and out in an initiative worth well over Le 58m.

Speaking on behalf of his community Paramount Chief of Lower Banta Chiefdom PC John Jibao Russell-Nyaama II said: “We are very grateful to Sierra Rutile for rehabilitating this beautiful structure and transforming it into the finest mosque in our Chiefdom. We are also deeply appreciative of the company’s ongoing commitment to our community.”

In addition, the Young Women’s Christian Association came several steps closer to finishing their new four-classroom primary school at Moriba Town, Lower Banta, when they received a gift of 100 bags of cement and four sheets of roofing zinc from Sierra Rutile.

Receiving the cement and zinc on behalf of the YWCA was Mrs Amy Amara, the Vice President of YWCA Moriba Town Branch. She thanked Sierra Rutile and said: “As one of the oldest members of the YWCA, I thank Sierra Rutile for their contribution towards helping us realise our dreams of having a permanent structure for our school.”

Another beneficiary lf Sierra Rutile’s improvement drive was the village of Mogbwemo, which received 14 bundles of zinc so that the Masjid Taqwa Mosque could be reroofed. The Chief Imam, Sheik Abdul Raman Kamara thanked Sierra Rutile saying: “We have a very good relationship with Sierra Rutile. They generously provide assistance to the community at large and we will continue to pray for them particularly during this Ramadan period, for success in their business so that they can continue to share the benefits of their business success.”

Speaking on behalf of Sierra Rutile, Ansumana Jabati, head of EHS with Sierra Rutile, reiterated the company’s confidence in the relationship between Sierra Rutile and the mining communities. “We are committed to the Government of Sierra Leone’s Agenda for Prosperity and to supporting socio-economic development in our area of operations. These projects are a practical demonstration of that commitment; they are chosen by the communities themselves; they contribute to education and community cohesion; and are a visible sign of the relationship that exists between Sierra Rutile are our neighbours.”

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