Obuasi school building project stalls;Due to redeployment of mine workers (Saturday, January 10, 2015), back page)
A school building being constructed by the Obuasi branch of the Mine Workers Union for children of mine workers in Obuasi has been abandoned because of the closure of the AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) mine in the town.
The closure of the mine led to the redeployment of more than 6000 mine workers, most of whom have left the town.
Financed by dues from the workers, the shutdown of the mine means funds that come for the project have been cut off leaving the building uncompleted.
The one-storey structure with facilities including classrooms, laboratories, a library, a staff common room and an administration block has now been taken over by weeds and shrubs.
State of the building
While the main school block has been partially plastered and roofed, the administration block is at the lintel level.
The compound and the immediate environs of the structures are now covered in weed and shrubs that threaten the structure and the inside of the main building is dusty with clothes and construction tools scattered all over.
The Secretary of the union, Mr Nicholas Yeboah, told the Daily Graphic that the amount spent so far on the structure could not be ascertained immediately.
He explained that “we decided that we were building a school for children of employees of AngloGold Ashanti so no matter how it would cost we would build it”.
Mr Yeboah confirmed that there was a definite plan for what the building would be used for in the near future.
“If you look at the unfolding circumstances as far as the AGA is concerned and the situation we find ourselves in, it is certain that if we want to use it as a basic school, it won’t work.
“For now, the AGA has a school that can cater for children of the remaining employees of the company. In the face of that, this one will not be useful,” he said.
He said the union had a number of options opened to it including handing it over to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) which was expected to open a campus in Obuasi as the AGA hands over some of its infrastructure over to the district assembly for that purpose.
He said alternatively, the structure might be used as a nurses’ training college or a teachers’ training college.
“We have not agreed on the specific project we would use it for. What it would be used for would determine its demarcation and completion,” he said.