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Moyamba Council Chair urges transparency in mineral wealth distribution

By Mohamed Massaquoi from Moyamba

Chairman of the Moyamba District Council has expressed frustration over the management of the country’s natural resources, and called on the central government to account to mining communities proceeds accrued from the venture, noting that though the district hosts several mining companies, yet it is still backward in terms of development.

Professor Bob Kandeh made the statement during a one-day sensitization forum organized by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) at the District Council hall in Moyamba, last week.

Prof. Kandeh said the district is endowed with many precious minerals, including bauxite and titanium dioxide (rutile), but development was frustratingly lacking, evident in the road network, living conditions and educational standard of the people.

He further noted that although mining companies provide some resources to council for development purposes, it is imperative on government to announce revenues collected from the mining companies and to be transparent in how the resources are distributed, with specific reference to Sierra Rutile mining company.

“The central government is treating us with contempt; we want to see real development because our people strongly rely on us for the development of their communities but we are not getting the appropriate attention from government,” pointed out Chairman Kandeh.

“For example, we are grateful that government is rehabilitating the bridge within the township of Moyamba, but we want to know more about the proposed project for the rehabilitation of the Moyamba Junction to Moyamba road, it is long overdue. Since the water project started some years back, it is still not completed because of lack of resources. However, we have been promised again by the Ministry of Finance for the completion of the project.”

Kandeh added that residents of the district are yearning to see more development within their communities and that frantic effort should be made in that regard, especially as a lot of mining companies are operating within the district.

“I have tried very hard to explain some of the challenges facing the Moyamba District Council. We have ensured that the public is adequately informed about any money received for developmental purposes,” he concluded.