The executive director of Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD), Abu Brima, has said Koidu Holdings has not complied with the environmental assessment report for the people of Kono.
Testifying yesterday before the Jenkins-Johnston commission of inquiry the NMJD director recalled some time in March 2004 when his organization produced a report on the problems between Koidu Holdings and the people of Kono titled: “the report of the unheard shout and the Kono people against kimberlite mining in Kono”.
Highlighting some of the aspirations of the Kono people, he said they generally loved mining and should be part of all negotiations towards that.
He said the report mentioned that the environmental aspect of the mining should be taken seriously so that the environment was protected and not devastated as a result of mining.
“Also, they aspire that the agreement should spell out clearly the financial material, environmental and welfare terms for the affecting residents,” he revealed.
Continuing, he said they also aspired that the mining agreement be reviewed and the affected residents be compensated for noise, dust and other productions caused by the mining, stressing that the environment be improved upon and not destroyed.
Abu Brima said the concerns raised were that the mining agreement with Branch Energy for 25 years was too long and that it was entered into at the time the country was not a democratic state.
Another concern also was that Koidu Holdings’ exploration and mining of kimberlite blasting without relocating and resettling people was unacceptable and a violation of international standards.
He disclosed that the up to 5,000 that were directly affected by the mining should be relocated before the start of the mines and the forceful evacuation of residents in the mining areas when blasting took place by security personnel caused tremendous stress, strains and embarrassment.
The houses, he said, that were constructed for the relocation of the affected persons were sub-standard and the process too slow and out of the 284 houses in the Swarray and Saquee towns at that time of writing the report, only 17 sub standard houses were constructed.