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A New Era of Healthcare Access in Nimba as Citizens Laud ArcelorMittal Contribution to Gbapa Health Center

The citizens’ gratitude and euphoria were followed by the gowning of the CEO of ArcelorMittal Liberia, Mr. Joep Coenen, Community Relations Manager Vaanii J. Kiazolu, and Community Relations Supervisor Edmund Saye Gbah along with others.
Gbaapa clinic AML

Nimba,Liberia:- Residents of the mining community of Gbapa and other citizens in Nimba have praised ArcelorMittal Liberia for its contributions to constructing a modern health center in the town.

The citizens expressed their gratitude and excitement on April 26, 2024, during a dedicatory ceremony of the health facility.

Throughout its history from the 1920s, the people of Gbapa have had to travel long distances to other local communities including Yekepa Camp-4, or the provincial capital of Sanniquellie to seek medical treatment. This continued until 2019 when the citizens appealed to ArcelorMittal Liberia for assistance to construct a clinic for them.

AML, receiving the request from the people, consented to assist under a partnership agreement whereby the citizens will provide what they can afford such as local materials and manpower. AML then provided building materials worth US$50,000 for the construction project and $35,000 in cash in 2022, making a total of US$85,000 contribution towards this US$125,000 health center project.

Guannu Paye, Chairman of Gbapa Development Council, recalled that the Government of Liberia captured the Gbapa clinic project at one point in time, but the budget allotted was diverted to “Kahn Bridge” project. According to him, subsequent budgets could not capture the project anymore, and having been left in limbo without an alternative, they appealed to AML and the company rescued them.

“Upon realizing that Gbapa clinic project was not captured in the budget anymore, citizens of the town decided to tax each house in the town, but this could reach us nowhere, and we negotiated with ArcelorMittal who came to our rescue and provided US$50,000 worth of materials and $35,000 in cash. We are grateful to ArcelorMittal for this great help that has reached us at this point today,” Paye recounted.

Clan Chief Matthew Dolo was equally emphatic that had AML not intervened in the project, they wouldn’t have received this modern health center.

The citizens’ gratitude and euphoria were followed by the gowning of the CEO of ArcelorMittal Liberia, Mr. Joep Coenen, Community Relations Manager Vaanii J. Kiazolu, and Community Relations Supervisor Edmund Saye Gbah along with others.

The residents further expressed their appreciation through songs and slogans outdoors, saying, “ArcelorMittal thank you. No more Camp-4.” In furtherance, women, who constitute the prenatal population, flooded the maternal section of the clinic named in memory of Dr. Fredrick Norkeh, who served as Chairman of the Gbapa

Development Council till his demise in 2022. The women, without doubt, see this section as cardinal to them because they have been covering long distances to seek medical care in various locations.

Receiving the gown on behalf of CEO Coenen, the Head of Health and Safety, Mr. Ahmad Massaquoi, commended the people for showing their gratitude and assured that AML will continue to work with them as a key stakeholder in its operation area.

Mr. Roland Nyanamah, keynote speaker at the occasion and a son of Gbapa, said that the health centre is the first ever in Gbapa, calling on citizens to avoid giving preference to traditional healers but to use the facility.

A representative of the Nimba County Health Team who proxied for the County Chief Medical Officer Netty Joe, promised that the Ministry of Health will ensure the facility receives the needed medical supplies and staff to run it effectively.

Nimba County Electoral District 2 Representative, Nyan G. Flomo, recalled that Gbapa has a long history in mining, tracing its history to diamond mining and then iron ore.

Representative Flomo said mining has brought resettlement packages to individual citizens of the area, though, the town itself has nothing to show till now that AML in partnership with the town has brought this modern clinic, commending the company for the gesture.

Representative Flomo further called on the citizens engage with the government and Nimba County authorities to allot a portion of the county social development funds to bring in the needed supplies instead of looking up to ArcelorMittal all of the time. 

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