Some residents in Kokoyah Statutory district in Bong County are said to be demanding compensations in the amount of US 1250 each for what they term as destruction to their homes caused by activities of MNG-Gold, a mining company in the area.
MNG Gold Liberia, Inc. is a mining company that is currently operating in Kokoya district. It is a member of the MNG Group of Companies in Turkey which is an established company with vast investments in various countries.
The current standoff between the local residents and the company follows destruction of several homes in the area, which residentsd say is as the result of the company’s blasting of rocks which left heavy shock that is believed to have caused for the destruction of more than two hundred and forty houses in the region.
Our Bong County correspondent who visited the place saw some of the houses cracked at the result of the heavy weight from the ground moving equipment which was used for blasting.
Following the incident, a mediation talk was organized by the company in the presence of Bong County Senator Henry Willie Yallah to find an amicable solution. This led to participants agreeing on the amount being demanded as compensation for victims. The mediation talk was attended by Heads of the company and representatives of the locals.
Residents were promised to have gotten the money in less than one week, but the company seems not to be forthcoming on promise. The said agreement was signed more than four weeks ago and not a dime has been received by the victims to renovate their or reconstruct their houses.
Some of the residents who spoke to this paper expressed total disappointment and vowed to stage demonstration if their concern cannot be addressed by the company.
“Since the machine make my house to break down, I have nowhere to go, my children have been sleeping with neighbors while myself sleep on the farm,, Gbermuyea Janteh, one of the victims told our correspondent.
“They have refused to give our money and for now we have no place to sleep” Sarah Yarkpawolo a 34 year old widow stated. This is not the first allegation to be levied against MNG-Gold by the local residents. It could be recalled over thirty people were taken to the Phebe Hospital after coming in contact with a stream allegedly polluted with chemical from the processing plant of mining company MNG Gold.
The stream which is called Sain, used by citizens for bathing, cooking and other purposes got polluted when some proton of a pump used to process ores at the company collapsed and went into the Sain creek mid night on a Friday.
According to some of those who came in contact with the polluted creek, the chemical spill over caused serious health problems for them as many continue to complain of itches, rashes on their skin as well as pain in the body.
They said they were never informed about the spillover but was told only when they started experiencing the effect of the chemical that went into their creek.
MNG Gold Public Relations Officer Lloyd Ngawayah told reporters that the company is concerned about the situation and maintained that they are in conversation with authorities to bring the situation under control.
By: Joseph Titus Yekeryan –in Gbarnga-Edited By Othello B. Garblah