By Sylvester Rogers……..
China Kingho Investment Company (SL) Ltd in corroboration with Tropical Environment Design Associates (TEDA) on June 5th unveiled a document titled “Proposed IRON ORE MINING IN PUJEHUN DISTRICT” to the people of the affected chiefdoms in the district and the general public.
The disclosure of the document came in the wake of exploration activities currently undertaking by Kingho Investment Company (SL) Ltd in two chiefdoms in the Pujehun district. The two chiefdoms affected are Kapka and Galliness Perri respectively. The document details the Community Development Action Plan (CDAP) and Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for Kpaka and Galliness Perri chiefdoms.
According to the document, many villages are going to be affected by the mine activities, but those mostly affected currently will include nine villages in Kpaka chiefdom and seven in Galliness Perri Chiefdom with about an estimated population of 40,000 to be displaced and relocated. Twenty thousand of these people are women.
At the preliminary stage of Kingho’s operations, two villages Funyehun and Lembema both in Galliness Perri chiefdom will be relocated.
Kingho Investment Company (SL) LTD Financial Allocation to CDAP during the production phase of the project will be at the level of 0.1% of revenue accrued by the company.
Kingho Investment Company (SL) Ltd has agreed to allocate four hundred thousand United States dollars (US$400,000) per annum towards Community Development Action Plan (CDAP) initiative in these chiefdoms.
According to the document, the disbursement of the US$400,000 will be based on the agreed guidelines which include Education 20%, Health 25%, Infrastructure 25% livelihood and support business 25% and others 5%.
The implementation of the arrangement for the project will be placed under the oversight control of the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government (MRDLG) and under the technical responsibility of the district council with regard to the project day-to-day management.
Kingho’s Community Affairs department coordination structure will be strengthened and placed under the responsibility of a steering committee chaired by the District Council Chairman. Other institutional representations will be drawn from the Local Council, the District Office, and Paramount Chiefs of the two chiefdoms within the leased area.
Kingho plans to create job opportunities for the local indigenes, as they will invest in infrastructure, the environment, and stimulate economic growth for the mining communities and Sierra Leone as a whole.
The first phase of the Kingho Investment Company (SL) Ltd is expected within 60 months. The entire phase of operation will have a mine life of 30 years.
In his own contribution, the chairman of the occasion who incidentally is the Member of Parliament for Constituency 89 Hon. Dixon Momoh Bumpe Rogers called upon Kingho Investment Company to promote sustainable development for the would be affected communities so that it will serve even generations yet unborn.
The MP adviced his constituents not to accept cash compensation for relocation as this will easily be expended whilst the affected communities will be left to wander about. He appealed to the people to ask for their communities to be relocated and their settlement rebuilt.
The National Consultant of Kingho Investment Company, Mr. Patrick Ansu Kaikai in his own talk allayed the fear of the affected communities and assured them that Kingho will fulfill all their corporate social responsibilities as spelt out in the document for the Community Development Action Plan (CDAP) for the affected chiefdoms.
Mr. Kaikai emphasised that no compensation will be made for both Poro and bondo bushes as these structures will always be created wherever this communities are relocated.
Meanwhile, many of the people who spoke to the Global Times say the document to a large extent is good, but they called on Kingho to do more to develop their communities.