Paramount Chief John Jibao Russell Nyaama III of Lower Banta Chiefdom in Moyamba District contacted Radio Democracy’s ‘Good Morning Sierra Leone’ programme yesterday, to tell listeners that the present management at Sierra Rutile has an excellent working relationship with him and the people of his chiefdom, and enjoys his full confidence and support.
PC Russell made the decision to speak to Radio Democracy about Lower Banta’s relationship with Sierra Rutile in order to support the company’s approach to consultation and community development in his chiefdom, contrary to recent suggestions.
He highlighted the consultative nature of Lower Banta’s relationship with Sierra Rutile, which he said “ensured that they engaged with community leaders so that any issues or concerns could be discussed in a frank and productive environment, which encouraged understanding and allowed both parties to agree on the way forward.”
He continued by saying: “Before Sierra Rutile take any action in Lower Banta, they hold a consultation meeting with us so their proposals can be discussed with the community, and until there is agreement with the community, they will not proceed.
“We realise that Sierra Rutile is ready to work together with the people of Lower Banta to improve the development and livelihood of this region. Every three months, a public consultation meeting with the company allows us to discuss the community’s development and CSR needs, how they can be met and what we need to do to move forward.”
He highlighted Sierra Rutile’s recent road rehabilitation work, their HIV/AIDS programme and their ongoing contribution to infrastructure, health and education in the area. He added that he and the other Paramount Chiefs in Sierra Rutile’s area of operations – PC Tommy Mualele Jombla VIII, PC Alhaji Alie Badara Sheriff III, PC Robert Coker Seilolo Papapwe III and PC Madam Hawa Kpanabom Sokan IV – had attended Sierra Rutile’s recent localisation launch in support of the company’s initiative. Concluding he said that he was confident that the community’s good relationship with Sierra Rutile would carry on and looked forward to being able to continue to work with the management team.