February 25, 2015
The annual landowners’ information meeting for Addax Bioenergy was held on 19 February at the new UNIMAK auditorium in Makeni. The meeting gathered key stakeholders to the Addax Bioenergy land lease process from civil society and local authorities, chiefdoms and most notably some 150 landowning communities (families) in the Addax operational areas.
The meeting covered information on project development, introduction of new stakeholders, discussions on land relinquishment, new land development, payments, legal representation, control of wild fires, charcoal burning, grazing, environmental protection, illegal logging, security, squatting, safety, use of roads and Ebola disease control and measures.
Other items included residual land, representation of women, support towards farmer development programme and extension services and village vegetable gardens.
The meeting was chaired by Reverend Father Leonard Bangura from UNIMAK.
In his remarks, Paramount Chief Bai Sebora Kasangha II voiced his continued support for the transparent and consistent engagement Addax Bioenergy has adopted toward the landowning families in their operational area. Addax Bioenergy was commended for all its efforts to fight the Ebola virus disease.
“When others had left Addax stayed behind and took on the disease head on,” the meeting acknowledged.
In his concluding remarks, Hon. Dr. Thomas Mark Turay, MP for Constituency 30, Paki Masabong and Bombali Sebora chiefdoms stated how impressed he was with Addax creating and safeguarding jobs despite the threat of Ebola. The company’s effort will be remembered long time after Ebola is gone, he said and praised the company for singlehandedly engaging with each and every landowning family in their area and keeping them abreast regarding developments.
He made it clear that the company is not alone, noting that a lot of responsibility is also vested with the landowners and local authorities and politicians and not just with Addax Bioenergy to make sure the process runs smoothly.
The meeting ended with a question and answer session where landowners asked about legal representation, clarifications on payments, job creation, and by-laws.
Landowner Samuel Turay from Rothun village emphasized the importance of the meeting and how glad he was to be with all the other landowners.
“Addax is doing well by us, they encourage landowners to act as partners. This meeting is very timely and is a fantastic gathering considering the Ebola situation,” he said, adding that having all representatives together to map out strategy and development together with Addax was a good initiative.
Another landowner, Lomprie Kanu from Mabilafu, said he was impressed how the company continues to interact with the people and landowners in the area.
“Having all the landowners coming together is benefitting Addax and it is benefiting us, the people. Addax has kept its promises even in the difficult situation today with Ebola,” he said.