By Mustapha Jallow
Gambia Angola China Holding (GACH) Global Sunday gave a cheque of One Million and Fifty Thousand Dalasi (D1,050,000) to the Village Development Committee (VDC) of Tujereng in honour of the agreement signed by the mining company.
The donation, according to organisers, was part of an agreement between GACH Global and the community of Tujereng. GACH committed itself to giving five per cent (5%) of the profits from the mining of aluminium and black sand in the Tujereng site to the community.
Boto Bojang, the Councillor of Sanyang Ward commended GACH Global for being the only company in the area that shares its profits with the community as well as contributes to communal development projects such as mosque development, and sports activities among others. Councilor Bojang stated that many companies have been mining in the community but none of them have paid royalties to the community, except for GACH.
Yusupha Jawara, a family member of Dr Abubacarr Jawara, the founder and CEO of GACH, stated that GACH is committed to paying royalties to the community. He said his company values supporting people and giving back to communities. He also promised that GACH will continue to give more in the future, with a projected increase to Two Million Dalasi (D2,000,000) next year.
Dr Abubacarr Jawara the founder of GACH also thanked the community for the cordial relationship. He acknowledged that his company is not the only mining company in the sector but highlighted that they were the first to obtain a license for mining black sand in the area and the company is 100% Gambian.
He further shared various initiatives his company has supported in the country, ranging from malaria prevention efforts to healthcare sector support, the construction of health centres, and the establishment of a tomato company. Jawara also mentioned that his company is currently involved in mining operations in Guinea-Bissau.
Jawara dismissed claims that the mining activities were detrimental to the community, stating that if that were the case, the community of Tujereng would not have allowed his company to mine there because it didn’t start with Tujereng but Sanyang which is a stone’s throw. He stressed that the company has maintained a positive relationship with the community of Sanyang/Brufut, even after mining in that area.
He informed the gathering that their contributions to the community have increased in recent years, from One Million Two Hundred Thousand Dalas (D1,200,000) last year to One Million Five Hundred Dalasi (D1,500,000) this year, with a promise to reach Two Million Dalasi next year.
Cherino Njie, the Chairman of the Tujereng Village Development Committee (VDC) expressed satisfaction with the partnership they have with GACH while highlighting the transparency demonstrated by the company by sharing all relevant documents relating to the government contract.
The ceremony concluded with the official handing over of the cheque to the Village Development Committee (VDC).