8 February 2013

Sierra Leone: London Mining Accused of Flooding Manonkoh Village

Freetown — Programme Coordinator for the non-governmental organization Network on the Rights to Food has expressed his group's dissatisfaction with one of the leading mining companies in the country, London Mining, for being responsible for the flooding in the Manonkoh village in Lunsar.

Speaking to Concord Times in an exclusive interview, Abass Kamara said residents of Manonkoh village are currently faced with excess flow of water in their surroundings and efforts made to curtail it by meeting authorities of London Mining to help bring an end to the unfavourable situation have been futile.

"A huge acre of land that was used by the villagers for their agricultural activities has turned into a flooding zone with no more agricultural production," Kamara said and called on the management of London Mining Ltd to intervene to help put a stop to the menace.

One of the Manonkoh village residents, Ramatu Bangura, added that several complaints have been made to London Mining to help solve the problem but no improvement has been seen up till this moment.

"We have never experienced such flooding in our plantation acres for the past years but since the operations of London Mining started, we are now prone to experiencing flooding," Ramatu said.

Notwithstanding this development, residents of Manonkoh and its surroundings admitted to have benefited greatly from London Mining's corporate social responsibility.

Reacting to the allegation, head of Media Relations and Communications of London Mining Limited, Osman Lahai, said his company was not responsible for the flooding and that two years back, residents of Manonkoh had raised a similar concern to them and that modalities were put in place by the company to investigate the issue by their hydrologist alongside an independent hydrologist, and that the Environment Protection Agency's EPI report clearly indicated that London Mining was not responsible for the flooding.

"Manonkoh is not on our concession but shares links with Cape Lambert company," Mr. Lahai maintained, adding that a memorandum of understanding was signed out of a request made by residents of Manonkoh for London Mining to assist them with basic needs, includingthe provision of two hundred and ten bags of rice (210), seedlings, cutlasses, hoes and water wells.

"We tried in our own way to meet their request. So we have no issue with the people of Manonkoh," Lahai told Concord Times.

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