The Network Movement for Justice and Development, in collaboration with the Campaign for Just Mining (CJM), yesterday launched an impact audit study on the diamond area Community Development Fund (DACDF) at the CCSL Conference Centre, Brookfields, in Freetown.
The launching was chaired by John Monrovia of the National Revenue Authority who explained the significance of the report, which highlights the identification of communities where diamond mining is operational.
A representative of the executive director for the Network Movement for Justice and Development, Aminatu K Lamin, gave a brief overview of the report and its impact audit study which was commissioned in October 2006 by the Campaign for Just Mining and Network Movement for Justice and Development.
He disclosed that, “the report is geared towards improving the diamond mining industry to adequately inform and recommend to government about issues that are taking place at the mining and extraction sites, on the do’s and don’ts by both government and mining companies which will give the ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources.
She noted that series of documents and films were produced by NMJD and its partners to create dialogue between the government, miners and the host community.
The official highlighted the plight of the people and the work of the mining company that had left serious degradation and deforestation of the environment resulting to certain impediments to the development of those communities affected.
She also lamented about the lack of social services to the people such as good roads, schools, and health facilities.
Cecilia Matia of the National Advocacy Coalition on Extractives, which comprises 15 NGOs and government departments, noted that plans were currently on the way to launch a report that would focus on the impacts of taxation in the mining industry and also develop templates for the government, mining companies, and host communities.
She emphasized the need for the country to benefit from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which would build the capacity of the government and the grassroots for rapid development as it would pressure governments and companies to publish what they received and spent because it would help reconnect the ordinary citizens with the wealth of the country.
Distribution of the report by Kumba Sunah Bundu formed a high point of the launching programme.
By Saidu Bah