Improving Welfare of the Batangtoru Farmers, Martabe Gold Mine Built a Suspension Bridge and Irrigation

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Batangtoru, December 21, 2019 -PT Agincourt Resources, the operator of Martabe Gold Mine commits to improve the welfare of the farmers in Batangtoru, by starting construction of a suspension bridge in the Village of Sumuran on Tuesday (19/12) and initial discharge of water into the Pulogodang solar powered pump irrigation channel at the Village of Telo (19/12).

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General Manager Operations of PT Agincourt Resources Darryn McClelland said that the company kept trying to optimize contribution of existence of Martabe Gold Mine for the public to achieve the village independence effort objectives.

“We expect the people to be able to use the two infrastructures to a maximum. The infrastructure sector makes one main focus of the community empowerment program other than health, education, agriculture, and local economy development. The suspension bridge at the Village of Sumuran and the Pulogodang solar powered irrigation pump at the Village of Telo provides access for the farmers to increase productivity,” said Darryn.

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Darryn explained that the construction of solar power pump irrigation at Pulogodang aimed at revitalizing one of the agriculture centres that had changed function due to a major flood. The irrigation system uses an environmentally friendly solar power with low maintenance cost. The pump is driven by electricity from 62 solar panels that can pump water at the flow rate of 30 litres/second.

“Other than being environmentally friendly, operation of the pump is also practical and easy to operate. This irrigation using solar power pump can deliver water to 60-80 hectares of paddy fields for 150 farmers. We expect that with this new irrigation system, the rice fields at Pulogodang could become active again, and the farmers can plant their rice which will improve economy and welfare,” said Darryn.

Senior Manager Community of PT Agincourt Resources, Pramana Triwahjudi added that the construction of suspension bridge at the Village of Sumuran eases access for the farmers at the village going to Sikua-kua rice fields and back home. Currently the farmers must go around through the farther Batuhula suspension bridge.

“They can’t wade through the river due to the risk of being pulled by the stream. The suspension bridge eases access for the farmers, shortens the journey, and is safer. More over, the farmers can also use the suspension bridge for transportation of produce. About 100 farmers will benefit from this suspension bridge,” said Pramana.

The construction of suspension bridge at the Village of Sumuran is a collaboration with the Public Works and Space Management Service of the Region of South Tapanuli which executed the technical design and run supervision for a smooth construction and to assure compliance with building design specification and quality. Total bridge length is 101 meters, with width of 3 meters and height of 7 meters. The suspension bridge construction is targeted to be completed in three months.

The Head of Road Construction II of the Public Works and Spatial Design Service of the Region of South Tapanuli Budi Amin gave appreciation to the infrastructure construction program by Martabe Gold Mine at the Subdistrict of Batangtoru. Budi expected that these two facilities could be used and maintained appropriately by the local residents.

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“We also request help from the local residents to help maintaining these two facilities. We express our gratitude to all parties who gave support and help during the construction process,” Budi ended.