The Inquirer (Monrovia)

30 November 2012

Liberia: Bong Mines Former Workers to Resist China Union

Some residents of Bong mines have planned to resist any plan from China Union if their evacuation plan is to take place. According to a cross section of the citizens from the Bong Mines area, any plan to take them from the area, it will meet serious resistance because as they said, it is inhumane to abruptly evacuate someone who has established in a particular area for years with no tangible benefit to offer them.

The residents said China Union will do themselves good if and only if they pay good amount that they can live their lives on if they are relocated and to worsen things, they were given one month to vacate, something they say is worrisome.

Speaking to the press, the lead Councilor of the Bong Mines citizens, Cllr. Rosemarie James said, she has informed the President of Liberia Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her quick intervention into the Bong Mines case, but nothing has been done.

Cllr. James said it is not possible for someone who has lived in an area for more than 30 years to be taken by surprise, meaning that, there is no good resettlement package set aside for the citizens to survive on after they would have been evacuated, and so, they have decided to engage the media to put pressure on the government of Liberia to act immediately.

She also said the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy is doing nothing to meet the interest of the Bong Mines residents. According to the Bong Mines residents, there was a notice of intent issued to them by EarthCons Inc. citing six villages to leave. He named the villages as Sekou Town, Plummue, Benmue, Faumah and Bong Mines Districts to relocate.

According to the document displayed by the residents, in keeping with Section 11 of the Environmental Protection and Management Law of the Republic of Liberia (2003) all new projects under the Environmental Laws of Liberia EIA mandatory listing, including building and civil engineering industries and the extractive industries are subject to an impact assessment study.

The document stated that based on China Union's contract, the services of EarthCons Inc, conduct RAP survey as required by the Environmental Law of Liberia and aimed to exercise relevant stakeholders as well as those to be affected by the proposed project to recommend appropriate measures to mitigate or remediate the occurrence of the impacts.

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