The projects outlined in Barrick's 3-year Commitment to Action progressed as planned and achieved the expected outcomes. In the final year of the project, we achieved the following results:
Healthy Alto Chicama and Healthy Pierina Programs
In November 2008, funds were allocated from Barrick's Voluntary Contribution Fund to launch Alto Chicama Saludable (Healthy Alto Chicama Program) and Pierina Saludable (Healthy Pierina Program), initiatives focused on helping improve the quality of life in mother-child populations in the districts of Sanagorán, Quiruvilca and Usquil (Alto Chicama) and Jangas and Independencia (Pierina). The program, developed in collaboration with the regional government of La Libertad, benefited the twenty-three (23) communities in the districts located nearest to Barrick's Lagunas Norte operation, plus twenty-two (22) communities in the area surrounding Pierina mine focusing on families that face significant health challenges, including limited access to public health services.
The Healthy Alto Chicama and Healthy Pierina Programs were aimed at reducing the prevalence of malnutrition in children under 5 years and to improve overall mother-child health. The program was based on three main strategies: 1) the extension of comprehensive health care services that covered the region's child population under 5 years old, women of childbearing age and pregnant women; 2) strengthening collaboration between local governmental and NGOs to improve their capacity to address regional health issues; and 3) implementing a community health surveillance system, integrating community health agents and local development actors, to ensure food security in the long run.
By January 2011, Healthy Alto Chicama Project reported the following key results: a 9% reduction in chronic malnutrition of children under 3 years (47% to 38%); 80% of pregnant women were having a monthly prenatal care visit; and a 12.3% prevalence of teen pregnancy (half of the regional prevalence).
As of February 2011, Healthy Pierina Program reported the following key intermediate results: 10% reduction in child chronic malnutrition (from 41% to 31%); 100% pregnant women having monthly prenatal care; 100% of institutional deliveries; and 0 chronic malnutrition in children under 1 year.
The family bio-gardens and guinea-pig raising project being implemented in 11 Communities of Pierina improved the quality of families' diets. This especially benefited children, through the promotion of the production and use of vegetables and the sustainable raising of guinea pigs for family consumption. The project consisted of installing open-air bio-gardens in 60 m2 areas for growing vegetables according to local soil conditions and nutritional requirements, and installing sprinkle irrigation and vermiculture facilities. The program also provided training on sustainably raising guinea pigs in sanitary conditions, providing cages made with local materials and giving each family 9 male and female guinea pigs. Each family's garden grows alfalfa to feed guinea pigs.
The Pierina project resulted in 280 families of 11 communities receiving and installing their bio-gardens, guinea pig family farms, and earthworm breeding facilities. Furthermore, 100% of these families have been trained in bio-gardens and guinea pig raising techniques as well as in the tenets of nutrition and how to create a balanced diet. As a result of these training and information sessions, 98% of these families now include vegetables in their daily diets and 98% of these families started raising guinea pigs outside of the kitchen and in cages.
In Lagunas Norte, a food security program has been implemented in 11 communities since 2008. Seven hundred families have benefited from this program. As a result, 6,100 breeding guinea pigs were distributed and 103 Ha of improved pastures were installed to feed the guinea pigs.
The Improved Household Stoves Program was aimed at building more efficient and safer stoves in households throughout the La Libertad and Ancash regions. The program benefited 6,430 families in 87 communities in La Libertad and 1,100 families in 18 communities throughout Ancash. In addition to Barrick's social investment budget, funds from Barrick's Voluntary Contribution were allocated to build and install these new stoves, aimed at improving sanitary conditions, resulting in lower fuel costs and reducing the amount of smoke in households, which was an eye irritant and a high risk for respiratory and pulmonary diseases.
Children's adequate nutrition relies heavily on breaking the vicious cycle of infection and malnutrition. One key step in this regard is having access to adequate water and sanitation facilities in the household. To this end, funds from Barrick's social investment budget and also from the Voluntary Fund were allocated to implement a water and sanitation project. This project included installing drinkable water systems in 16 communities surrounding Lagunas Norte, benefiting 610 families, as well as in 20 communities in the area of influence of Pierina, with 9,200 people as beneficiaries. As well as installing sewage systems in 5 communities surrounding Pierina mine, benefiting a total of 3,740 people, and dry latrines near the Lagunas Norte mine, where no sewage system was available. Dry latrines were installed in 14 communities, benefitting 969 families. This project has also benefited 45 families in the Shecta community, through the construction of a sewer water treatment system, comprised of one septic tank, two percolating cesspits and a connection to every household in the community. This project was funded with Barrick's Voluntary Contribution Fund and has significantly improved sanitary conditions in Shecta.
Barrick partnered with World Vision to implement an Area Development Program (ADP), with a strong emphasis in early mental stimulation and nutrition, in the district of Quiruvilca, nearby Lagunas Norte mine. ADP's component on early stimulation and nutrition was aimed at having the children under age 3 receive early mental stimulation and adequate nutrition to promote their physical, psychomotor, cognitive and social development. To achieve this goal, Barrick and World Vision worked with Quiruvilca's families to improve early mental stimulation for their children and nutrition knowledge and practices. The program also worked with local development organizations in order to strengthen local capabilities to promote and influence favorable early child development in the region. The key component of this project was the establishment of community-based early stimulation and nutrition centers, which were led by local volunteer mothers, called 'guide mothers', trained by the project's professional team. These centers were also monitored by local community leaders and authorities.
By 2010, 750 families with children under age 3 had improved their knowledge and awareness regarding early stimulation and adequate nutrition; 450 families with children under age 3 were implementing practices of early stimulation and adequate nutrition; 14 centers of early stimulation and nutrition had been established, including two in the local health facilities run by the government; 60 'guide mothers' committed to the Project and were trained or were being trained; and 3 'guide mothers' had been hired by the local government to complement project's efforts
Since 2009, Barrick has sponsored the Productive Highlands Project in order to show how the combination of simple technologies and the active participation of the people can bring about positive effects on their socioeconomic development.
The Productive Highlands Project was implemented in the farming community of Cahuide, in the province of Santiago de Chuco, in La Libertad region, near the Lagunas Norte mine. This was a joint effort with the IAA, financed with resources from Barrick's Voluntary Contribution.
The communities that were involved in this project are located at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters, and local farmers were entirely reliant on subsistence farming, and dependent on rainfall for the irrigation of their land.
210 families benefited from the spray irrigation system. This allowed the farmers to collect and store water all year round, bringing about a change in the local irrigation practices. Building on this, the project implemented many technologies for this group of families in the areas of agriculture, animal husbandry, and health and sanitation: open air vegetable garden; plot for associated cultivated pastures; mini-plots for Andean grains and tubers growing; basic food processing module; raising of guinea pigs; raising of egg-producing hens; improved stoves; and purification of water through solar disinfection (SODIS).After the first year of implementation for this project, local farmers from Cahuide began to generate a surplus of farming and livestock products, which they now take to the local markets to be sold or traded. Throughout 2011, the project continued the implementation of technologies as planned, including aquaculture (carp fish), dry toilet, earth tub to produce biogas, solar water heater, solar stove, covered vegetable garden, agro-forestry, and production of organic fertilizers.
The Sustainable Cattle Raising project was implemented with funds allocated from Barrick's Voluntary Contribution in 5 communities of the Chuyugual Basin, neighboring the Lagunas Norte mine. Its objective was to genetically improve cattle for improved milk production and higher quality of meat. To achieve these objectives, the project introduced 480 pregnant heifers, 10 Brown Swiss studs, insemination technology and providing improved technical, productive, organizational and managerial skills regarding milk and meat production among local cattle breeders.
Four hundred and eighty families benefited from this project. The project included training in artificial insemination, dairy production, and seeding, conservation and maintenance of cultivated pastures and sprinkle irrigation. Key project actions implemented were: 245 Brown Swiss pregnant heifers introduced; 4 Brown Swiss studs introduced; 130 Ha of seed cultivated pastures; 245 families receiving continuous in-field follow-up and technical assistance; and an increase of 50% in the livestock population, with 143 calves born from the introduced heifers.
The Poverty Reduction and Alleviation program (known as Proyecto PRA) was developed with the objective of reducing poverty, by generating income and sustainable job opportunities in economic corridors in Peru's Andes and Amazonian regions. The project facilitates the development of sustainable businesses by responding to market demands and linking small scale producers and entrepreneurs in the Andean and Amazonian regions of Peru with productive opportunities, under the philosophy of producing what the market demands.
PRA's key strategy is the implementation of Economic Service Centers (ESC), which provide business development services to private businesses, entrepreneurs, and small scale producers with the objective of making their activities more profitable and sustainable. Currently, Barrick is partnering with USAID, Antamina Mining Company and CGSGI to fund, via the Voluntary Contribution, the operations of the ESC in Ancash region; as well as partnering with USAID and Poderosa Mining Company to fund the operation of the ESC La Libertad.
Proyecto PRA has begun its activities by integrating small producers of guinea pigs (Pierina) and cattle (Lagunas Norte) to the local and regional markets. In the next three years, it's expected that incremental sales in Pierina and Lagunas Norte will rise up to USD 5 million, benefiting more than 2,500 rural families. Some of the products that have been identified as having market potential, and will be promoted as long as a 'purchaser with first and last name' is identified, are: cattle (meat, guinea pigs); dairy products (milk, cheese); tubers (native potato, ulluco); grains (maize, wheat, barley, linseed, oats); beans (andean lupin, broad bean); fruit (peach, pinneaple, avocado); berries (strawberry, blueberry, golden berry); spices (garlic, snow pea); and wood.