Serious anomalies at Shandong operational areas

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- NMJD report alleges

October 29, 2015 By Mohamed Massaquoi

A recent report titled ‘Gains and Pains’ published by the Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD) alleged that there are series of anomalies surrounding the mining activities in the Port Loko and Tonkolili districts, noting that every efforts should be made by government, civil society and mining communities to lay out broad based framework for communities that have the potential of natural resources.

The rights advocacy group further alleged an increase in crime in communities where the mining outfit is currently operating.

While presenting the findings on behalf of NMJD, Samuel J. Brima of the Economics Department at FBC, said the authorities in both districts consented on the lack of knowledge of the mining contract negotiations, including the community development agreements.

He said there was no cordial relationship between landowners and the company and that community women had no opportunity to participate in the mining process.

“All the mining communities complained about the different forms of negative externalities like air, noise, water pollution; particularly the issue of water pollution, which is pointing to serious health hazard in the near future for children and women in these communities,” he claimed. “Crime is on the increase as there is grossly inadequate compensation for surface rent and trees/crops lost.”

He added that the report was conducted basically to examine the impact iron ore mining and price crash has on the national economy with respect to the various determinants, including labour, production, gross domestic product, taxation and other socio-economic variables.

“The inhabitants of the mining communities conceive the activities of Shandong mining company as land grabbing, given the fact that there is a serious lack of proper sensitisation of their operations,” he said. “Too much of land given to mining companies through the authority of government but more importantly subcontracting to other companies without proper explanation to the mining communities where those mining operations are taking place, is a major concern to the people.”