Wongor Investment and Mining Corporation (WIMC Ltd) on Friday April 24th made a large donation worth over 50 million Leones in cash and protective items to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in its host communities. Wongor donated 100 veronica buckets, 100 hand washing basins, 50 cartons of hand washing soap, and 30 million Leones in cash.
Wongor (as it is popular called in its host communities), which operates the largest gold mining company in Sierra Leone with over 100 square kilometers in both Nimikoro and Nimiyama Chiefdoms in Kono district, made two separate donations—the first, at Komao in Nimikoro, and the second, at Jaima Sewafeh in Nimikoro.
At the Nimikoro donation, Director of Community Affairs for the National Minerals Agency (NMA), Mr. Sartie Kamara told the community that Wongor continues to set bright example in its operations. Mr. Sartie informed the audience that although Wongor may be relatively new and in operation for less than a year, their Corporate Social Responsibilities seem to surpass some older mining companies in the country.
In his keynote address, Mr. Murtada Tunis, the Country Manager for Wongor told his “family,” as he often refer to members of the host community, that “the company is here to complement the effort of government in its stride to stop the spread of the very contagious disease, COVID-19.” He furthered that “this disease is very dangerous and we encourage each and every member of the community to do its part to stop the virus because if we do not stop the virus, this company that currently provides you jobs may shutdown because of a worsening situation.” Mr. Tunis reminded the community that Wongor has always been there for them before COVID-19 and it will continue to do so after COVID-19. “Just few months ago in December,” he continued, “we spent millions of Leones as a company to organize football gala for the youths in an effort to keep them engaged. We have started efforts towards the construction of a health center. We are doing all of these at a time when we are yet to start gold production or to see a single ounce of gold. That’s what responsible companies do: providing for communities when needed with zero cent on your balance sheet. It shows our board and our investors care a lot about the people of the communities in which we operate.”
At the presentation in Jaiama Sewafeh, the Paramount Chief, Chief Toto, told his people that he wish he would have more companies like Wongor in his chiefdom because “they never let their guard down.” Chief Toto reaffirmed his support for Wongor and thanked the investors of Wongor through Mr. Tunis for continuing to do what they do. The honorable Member of Parliament, Hon. Tucker, also thanked Wongor greatly for “an astounding effort to help our struggling community to cope with the directives of government.” Mr. Tucker told Mr. Tunis that “the people of this community will not forget what you and your company continue to do for us.” The NMA government regulator, through its Director of Community Affairs, Mr. Kamara, also encouraged the residents of Nimiyama to continue to follow protocols as directed by the Ministry of Health and the government.