The Executive Director of the Human Rights Respect Raising Awareness Campaigners (HURRARC) Sahr Fanie has with a very heavy heart narrated to journalists at the amnesty international office at Pademba road over the weekend that the situation at Sierra Rutile is risky and dangerous.
He explained that the dredge had depleted a huge proportion of the virgin land in that community to an extent that, dams are now over flowing all over the place which he said might end up in flooding.
He noted that, from their recent investigations at the Rutile mining site, the company had grossly violated the human rights of residents of that community as their drinking waters are polluted by chemicals from the mining operations.
The land owners he stated are emaciated with a frustrated outlook and semblance of poverty all over the place inspite of the huge endowment of precious minerals.
He explained that, the people expect much from government, but it has not done much to factor into the mining agreement the welfare of the community people so as to realize benefit.
He further confirmed that the company’s mandate would expire by next year and if something is not done now to address the welfare issue of the community inhabitants they would forfeit. The above statement he said is self explanatory as his organization which is a defender of human and people’s rights would want to ensure that before the expiration of their mandate or even before the signing of a new agreement the community development initiative and the welfare of the people should be given top priority.
He concluded that the silence surrounding the death of two former workers of Sierra Rutile company Cecil Lansana and Bashiru who died on 25th July, 2008 while on duty onboard the dredge machine, is their greatest concern. He added that the rights, and dignity of the people must be respected to enhance a better standard of living.
Leslie Mboka an activist from that community opined that if something urgent is not done towards that community, they would wake up one day in the middle of an ocean .
By Solomon Rogers