GACH Mining Company Ltd on 23 March 2023 presented a set of football gear with twenty-five thousand dalasis to the communities of Brufut, Bato Kunku, Tujereng, Sanyang, Gunjur, and Kartong ahead of the GACH Mining Kombo Coastal Village Championship football tournament.
Amadou Manneh, the GACH Mining Company site manager, said the great initiative came from their CEO Dr Abubakary Jawara. He said the GACH boss is always concerned about the unification of these communities.
Manneh also adds that GACH Mining is not a company that goes to communities to only sign MOU; rather the company fulfills the agreements in the MOU and provides the people with the benefits.
“My CEO is not only focusing on fulfilling our agreements with the communities but he is equally concerned about the mutual relationship that should exist between the two parties (GACH and the communities),” he said.
He said GACH is providing 100 per cent sponsorship of the tournament but decides to hand over all the responsibilities to the communities through their committees backed by the Village Development Committees (VDC) to take charge of the tournament.
“We are putting in three hundred thousand dalasis (D300,000) in the tournament, where the winners of the tournament will go home with one hundred and fifty thousand dalasis, runner-up will go with one hundred thousand dalasis, third position with fifty thousand dalasis, best goalkeeper ten thousand dalasis, best player ten thousand dalasis and the leading goal scorer ten thousand dalasis,” the GACH site manager confirmed.
“And we are also giving each community a cash amount of twenty-five thousand dalasis for their preparation of the tournament including their transport and other logistics.”
Manneh appeals to the youths of the communities to exercise maximum discipline and take charge of the tournament as it is theirs and has a purpose.
He also revealed that their company has many initiatives for the communities as they “do responsible mining”.
Also speaking at the presentation, the chairman of the Tujereng community development committee, outlined the significance of the football tournament to be organised by GACH Mining Company, saying the tournament is meant to promote peace and unity among the six communities and other communities within the Kombo coastal villages.
He also said the tournament means a lot to them as it is one of the most catered for sports activities taken to their doorsteps by mining companies that have operated in their communities.
“Mining has been existing in the coastal village way back in the 50s to the 80s, but we have never seen or heard of any of those companies giving back to our communities,” he said. “But GACH Mining has been in the front line when it comes to giving back to the communities and we commend them for that.”
The Tujereng VDC Chair encourages the youths to grab the opportunity and maintain a high standard of discipline in the course of the tournament.
GACH Global Company’s communication officer Mafugi Ceesay stated that mining has been done in The Gambia since 1926 but none of the communities had benefited from what was mined from their localities.
However, Ceesay said: “GACH Mining Company is the only mining company that gives back to the communities without hesitation.
“At GACH Mining we are committed to community service and we will never hesitate in giving back to the communities when the need arises.”
Ceesay says the tournament is just one of the many things his company is doing to give back to the communities.
Ousman Camara, a representative from Kartong, along with a Tujereng representative, shared comments similar to Ceesay’s and others, saying the tournament is the biggest initiative that has come their way as youths and commended GACH not only for interacting with the elders of their communities but also for involving the youths in the process.
Both representatives assured GACH that the tournament “will be played in a very free and fair environment”.
The tournament, set to be played in the month of Ramadan, commences on Saturday 25 March 2023, with an opening match between Tujereng and Brufut at the Tujereng football field.