Liberia: The resettlement and livelihoods programme
Our mine in Liberia needs more land, so that we can manage the ‘tailings’ residues more effectively and safely. Many local people will be affected by this, including 1,500 farmers who will lose their farming land. We have established a Mine Resettlement Coordination Committee, which includes representatives from our company, local authorities, civil society and local communities. The committee will ensure there is independent oversight of the compensation process, and any mediation that might be necessary. By the end of 2014, 901 affected farmers had received financial compensation for loss of land.
We have also developed a livelihoods programme for those affected by the resettlement plans. Our aim is to reach three adult members in each household by offering skills training, so that they can set up their own businesses. 1,657 will receive certificates of achievement or participation. The skills covered include tailoring, hairdressing, and arts and crafts. This programme is part of our long-term commitment to making a positive contribution to Liberia, especially in the wake of the Ebola outbreak, which we have helped to tackle, in partnership with other companies, NGOs and government organisations.
The implementation of these programmes, including allocating alternative land plots and supporting people who are particularly vulnerable, did not progress as effectively as we had planned in 2014 due to the wider challenges in our Liberia operations. With the 2014 Nimba demonstrations in mind (see Community dialogue section) we understand the need to manage the expectations of the community during this difficult time.