Africa-Press – Sierra-Leone. The Director of Community Affairs of Leone Rock Metal Group, the parent company of Kingho Mining Company, Judith Kosseh, has said that the company is open to working transparently in the disbursement of the over Le 5.3 billion (over five billion, three hundred million Old Leones) Community Development Funds (CDA) paid to the mining communities in that area.
She made that statement during the maiden Community Development Agreement (CDA) Steering Committee Meeting on Friday 29th July 2022 held in Bumbuna, Dansogoia Chiefdom, Tonkolili District, Northern Province of Sierra Leone.
In attendance were the Paramount Chiefs and the Regent Chief of the three mining concession chiefdoms of Sambaia, Dansogoia, and Simiria respectively; the National Minerals Agency (NMA) and Tonkolili District Council Chairperson.
She said, as a member of the Steering Committee, the company is showing great commitment to the proper dispensation of the funds.
NMA and Kingho Mining reps
On behalf of the NMA, Director of Community Relations, Ibrahim Satti Kamara said that as an agency, their major role is to conduct oversight in the proper utilization of the CDA funds. He said NMA will not select projects for the community nor will it have any control in the utilization of the funds, but rather will serve as a custodian to guide the regulatory and operational framework in the utilization of the funds.
PC Alimamy Bockarie Yallan Koroma of Dansogoia Chiefdom said the relocated communities of Ferengbeya, Foria and Wondugu which are all in his chiefdom are disadvantaged. He called on NMA to give corporate answers to the question of disbursing funds to them.
PC Musa Bamba Foray Jalloh of Sambaia Chiefdom also assured of his commitment to transparency and proper utilization of the funds for the benefit of all. He called on the chiefdoms to choose projects that will benefit all the mining communities.
John Tamba Kamara, Regent Chief of Simiria Chiefdom said he is willing to cooperate with the Paramount Chiefs for the betterment of his people, whilst adding that the projects identified are in line with the aspirations of the people.
In the Steering Committee Meeting, each chiefdom submitted one project which they have identified for their people. A project was approved for the construction of a guesthouse in Sambaia Chiefdom, a multipurpose centre in Dansogoia Chiefdom; and a health center in Simiria Chiefdom. All of these projects were selected by the chiefs on behalf of their people and were approved by the Steering Committee members.
In order to ensure effective utilization of the fund, the chiefdoms together with the National Minerals Agency (NMA), the District Council and Kingho Mining Company set up a Steering Committee that decides on the disbursement of the funds. NMA Community Relations Manager, Henry Kamara said that once all of the projects are implemented in line with the necessary recruitment and procurement laws of Sierra Leone, the remaining funds would be disclosed and other sets of projects will be requested for the chiefdoms again.
According to mining-related records, Kingho Mining Company is the first company in the history of mining in the Northern Province to pay 1% in annual revenue to its operational communities even before the provision becomes law. The money covers 1% of the company’s operational revenue raised for the year 2021.