At long last, hope has been restored to the people of Manonkoh Village, Marampa Chiefdom, Port Loko District, after signing a Memoradum of Understanding (MOU) for humanitarian assistance with London Mining Company (LMC).
The signing which took place on Saturday at the Village , was witnessed by PC BaiKoblo Queen 11 of Lunsar, the Chief of Manonkoh Mohamed Fornah, Town Chief of Lunsar Alfred Kamara, LMC Representative Barry Honnah, Environmental Protection Agency official Mbalu Sesay and the Press.
The MOU covers the terms, conditions and specifics of the humanitarian assistance that LMC wishes to give to the people of Manonkoh, in response to loss of crops and of farm land, due to flooding around the village.
According to the MOU, this assistance cannot be interpreted or misconstrued to mean either an admission of guilt or responsibility by LMC for the flood that has affected the people of Manonkoh.
LMC Managing Director for Community Relations Barry Honnah, said LMC will assist with a one-off provision of rice seedlings and farming tools to the people of Manonkoh for next season’s rice farming.
The rice seedlings will amount to and not exceed 500 bushels of husk rice by the end of January 2013.
According to the MOU, the 35 houses in Manonkoh will each receive 14.3 bushels of husk rice.
Also, LMC will give 210 bags of rice to the 35 houses that were affected and each house will get six bags of rice.
LMC will provide the people of Manonkoh with one-off assistance of farm tools such as machetes, hoes and others, to revive the farming activities of the people of Manonkoh.
LMC will also install water well with a hand pump to provide portable water for the people of Manonkoh.
EPA Deputy Director of Operation and Extension Mbalu Sesay, said that EPA retained two independent experts to assert the cause of the flooding and it has been established that the flooding were not caused by LMC but by the culverts which were constructed by Delco Mines .
She said, EPA has informed the people of Manonkoh about this fact, adding that EPA has tried very hard to mediate between LMC and the Manonkoh villagers.
The Chief of Manonkoh, Mohamed Fornah, thanked LMC and EPA for the assistance, especially the rice for his community and prayed that the other farming tools as stated clearly in the MOU, will be given to them very soon.
He also called on LMC to provide jobs for their youths.
Paramount Chief Koblo Queen 11, thanked EPA and LMC for the effort they have shown to the community.
This, he said, is part of the social corporate responsibility of LMC and thanked President Koroma for strengthening the mining laws and also the protection of the environment.
According to the MOU, LMC undertakes to carry the following activities, firstly, installation of two culverts underneath the main motor road/dam constructed by the former Delco Mines to facilitate the smooth movement of flood waters from the resulting lake to the conveyance canal, also constructed by Delco Mines. Secondly, dredging of slits, from the canal and stream-bed down to the lake; between the main road and the culverts under the road, between the LMC offices and the LMC plant.
The MOU stated that EPA will inspect or delegate the inspection of the works done by LMC, as described earlier and provide categorical assurances that such works have been carried out to an acceptable standard, thereby releasing LMC of any future liabilities with regards to the works carried out in respect of the first job of building the two culverts.