Note to miners: take your Corporate Social Responsibility to remote rural areas – Olukupa clinic is the result
A policy of promoting decentralised Corporate Social Responsibility started by the Ministry of Mines and Energy in 2015, last week produced more tangible results when the new clinic at the Olukupa Combined School near Okongo was officially opened.
The clinic was built by a Gecko Mining filial, Imerys Gecko Okanjande Mining, after one of its directors, Kobus Smit made a pledge in 2016 to invest in a clinic so that the Olukupa children would no longer need to walk about 32 kilometres for medical attention at the Okongo Clinic.
Olukupa’s clinic consists of two consulting rooms, two screening rooms, a waiting area, and a cashier office as well as accommodation for the nurse. In addition Gecko installed a solar water pump, an extra water tank and a sewage pond for the school. They also installed taps for the teachers and revamped the school hostel’s ablution facilities and showers.
Gecko’s decision to support Olukupa followed after the Ministry of Mines and Energy started engaging mining companies to convince them to channel their Corporate Social Responsibility to remote rural areas, and not only in the immediate vicinity of their mining operations.
As a result, the combined sponsorships from Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb, Ohorongo Cement, and B2Gold furnished the money for the construction of a hostel. It was at the inauguration of this hostel that Gecko made the commitment to build a clinic.
The clinic was opened by the Governor of the Oshikoto region, Hon Henock Kankoshi, assisted by the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Hon Juliet Kavetuna and the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon Kornelia Shilunga.
Delivering the main address, Hon Shilunga said “to the mines, your contributions will always be remembered not only by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, but also by the community of Olukupa and the Namibian nation at large.”
“This accomplishment is greatly valued and we encourage you to continue doing so in the future. In the same light, I would like to encourage other mining companies and the business communities to emulate this good example.”
“The Ministry of Mines and Energy, together with its stakeholder represented by Mr. J. P. Smit from Imery’s Gecko Okanjande Mining hereby officially hand over the Olukupa Community Clinic to the Ministry of Health and Social Services and to the people of Nehale lya Mpingana Constituency,” she concluded.