Failing to Address Concerns Sierramin Bauxite Sierra Leone in Trouble
Sierramin Bauxite Sierra Leone Limited situated at Rogbere Junction, Port Loko District has been accused by poor land owners of Marampa and Maforkie Chiefdoms of not honouring Cooperate Social Responsibilities within their area of operation.
Report tendered to this medium by the defenceless land owners of the two chiefdoms mentioned above where the illicit mining activity is practiced by the bauxite mining company revealed that, they would not keep quiet this moment and watch Sierramin Bauxite exploiting them and depleting their agricultural lands without addressing the serious concerns they had earlier raised.
This stiff resistance was mounted after the landowners came to realize that, the company have already imported and installed mining equipment worth millions of dollars but refusing to address their major concerns.
It could be recalled that, several meetings have been held among landowners of the said chiefdoms, calling on Sierramin Bauxite to review the unacceptable five years’ land lease agreement. According to the deprived landowners, they were forced by some influential people in the community including the Paramount Chief of Marampa Chiefdom in Lunsar, Chief Koblo Queen and other stakeholders to accept the seven dollars paid per acre at the displeasure of the poor land owners who depend on farming activities for their livelihood.
The land owners advanced that they couldn’t boost of either a school, health or community centre throughout the entire Mabureh and Yankasa Villages and beyond except a caricature school built out of mud with thatch roof which could not only accommodate seventy-five pupils as a whole but could not also allow children to learn during the height of the raining season as a result of the leakage thatch roof.
Very recently, reports say, a fifteen years old girl fell into one of the ditches (deep hole) dug by the mining company during their illegal mining activity which they are practicing at night is in critical condition.
According to reports, some land owners who attempted to caution the company to stop the illegal mining activities at night were arrested and detained at the Port Loko Police Division where they spent over 48 hours.
When contacted on allegation of taken away over two hundred million Leones from the one billion eight hundred and eighty-four million Leones paid by the company for eighteen thousand acres, PC Koblo Queen denied and argued that he stands to protect the right of his subjects while the defenceless indigenes complained that they were not rely on PC Koblo Queen because they alleged that he is working to fill his pocket but not on their interest.
It was reported that one can only gain employment to work for the company through the approval of PC Koblo Queen.
Contacting the Head of Survey for Sierramin Bauxite, Mr. Steven Kamara said, the Resident Minister has intervened to resolve the matter between the two parties adding that, the company is not in disunity but its working towards improving lives by providing job opportunities for young people and assured that all issues raised by land owners would be addressed for sanity to prevail in the interior.
Mr. Steven Kamara advanced that they have plan to build a Primary school at Yankasa Village adding that they have erected a big Mosque for Muslims at Robureh and Yankasa Villages but the land owners argued that the Mosque was not built by the management of Sierramin Bauxite but built by Sannusi Bruski who is said to be Shareholder of the company and a Guinean national who donated over five hundred dollars for the construction of the Mosque.
ASP Kembay attached at the Port Loko Police Division, denied allegation that they use fire arms during the arrest of the five land owners including a pregnant woman who was allegedly beaten to coma and stripped naked in front of the company’s headquarters offices before she was locked up.
The poor and defenceless land owners who depend on their lands for agricultural purposes are calling on the intervention of the central Government for justice to prevail or else, they would resist against anybody who may attempt to continue with any mining activity without their consent.
By Alhassan Bangura
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