Village Development Committee (VDC) on Monday 21 January 2019 denied a
private-owned sand mining company-Unity Mining Company from mining white sand
from the shores of the village.
This is the latest episode in the continuing protest by residents against any sand mining activities at this Kombo South settlement. However, the move comes after the said company was alleged to have been engaged in illegal sand mining in the area without any formal agreement with residents.
Reports have it that the said company was issued a licence by Geology Department to engage in sand mining activities in the area called –Howba, which was eventually closed by residents citing some irregularities.
Speaking to The Point, Lamin Bojang, chairman of the VDC, disclosed that there has never been any form of formal agreement between the community and the mining company in question after the end of their first agreement back in 2018.
Bojang acknowledged that natural resources are fully owned and managed by the country, but was quick to add that communities also reserve the right to negotiate with any individual or company that has the interest to engage in any business therein.
“What is more unfortunate is that the company has already mined an area of 700 meters into the community’s territory without even respecting the demarcated boundary between Sanyang, Gunjur and Sambuya. I can tell you that even daily fees collected in illegal mining in the area are not paid to the community; instead to the neighboring village,” he lamented.
Reacting to the latest development, Buba Bojang, manager of the Unity Mining Company informed The Point that he was only put in the picture after the villagers protested against sand mining in the area, by sending away all the sand trucks.
“I don’t know how possible this can happen because there is a task force committee set up with the responsibility of monitoring the communities’ mining borders,” he said. “So what I can say for now is we are going to strictly look into the issue to avoid any unforeseen mining activities,” he added.