The Deputy Chair of the Koinadugu District Council Councilor Rugie Marrah of Ward 156 has said that several Logging and Gold mining companies in the district are not cooperating with Council Administration. As she explains to our investigative reporter during his visit to the Northern Sierra Leone
She also said that most of the logging companies and gold miners do not respect authorities in the district.
“There is rampant logging and gold mining in the Koinadugu District but the Ministry of Agriculture and Mines in Freetown are making the activities of the council very complex as they issue various instructions failing to consult council administration,” she explained.
The deputy chair of the council said, “they are not aware of most logging and mining activities and consider those operations as illegal, because the two ministries have failed to devolve their function to the Council including their personnel.”
She explained that the Koinadugu District is not informed about the mining company’s scope of work because the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Political Affairs have failed to devolve their functions to them.
Councilor Marrah also expressed serious concern over the manner in which Gold is being mined in the Koinadugu District as it is creating lots of problems for both the Council’s administration and residents.
“Ndiyan Chiefdom is the hub for Gold mining and several mining companies has expressed interest in mining Gold but our frustration is that most of the companies with mining licensees are not working in the interest of the people,” she said.
Councilor Marrah noted that, “though the Mining Companies operating in the area have obtained relevant documents from the Mines Ministry but it is incumbent on both the ministry and the Council to know details of their activities because the mining process is taking place in Koinadugu not in Freetown,” she added.
Expressing her disappointment she said, “Council administration is not happy with the manner in which Gold Miners and Logging companies are operating clandestinely in the district without due respect to authorities.”
There are three mining companies exploiting Gold in the district namely Rock Sayid, Russian Carat Company and Jummas, these companies she said have been operating without permission from the Council.
“We have sent a lot of correspondences to the companies for a meeting but they have deliberately refused to honor our invitation, instead they sent two laborers as representatives of the company to talk to the Council administration but however we sent them back and asked for their heads to attend the meeting” she explained
“In view of this ugly incident, the Koinadugu District Council has put in place codes of conduct and guidelines for all mining companies and development partners because we do not want to work in isolation, the people need to be aware of any activity taken place in the district,” she said.
The deputy chair also said that they were voted into office to perform their duties, and that they would not allow any investor or NGO to use the people in Koinadugu for their selfish goals.
Concluding the deputy chair of the Koinadugu District Council strictly warned line ministries and development partners to always consult the Council administration on issues affecting the people as there are laid down rules and regulations regarding that. By Saidu Bah & Judy Vue