AML Releases US$60,000 to Farmers for Resettlement
MONROVIA-For the fourth time this year, ArcelorMittal Liberia has disbursed resettlement packages to farmers and farmland owners amounting to up to US$60,000 (Sixty Thousand United States Dollars).
Floyd Morgan, AML Finance Officer working on the payment indicated that since 2013, the company has continued to pay resettlement compensations to farmers in Nimba and will continue to do so, as long as its operations impact the farmlands of locals.
At least 18 farmers from Gbapa town benefited from the latest round of payment of resettlement packages.
The beneficiaries have land close to Gangra and Tokadeh mining sites and safety zones.
One of the beneficiaries (who did not want to be named ) said: “I am happy today for ArcelorMittal to make payment for my area. My farm was affected by rock crushing and the crops that I had there were counted and paid for today. I still have land that the company will work on in the future and I am sure of getting something (compensation) still. I am happy for what I got today; it will help to augment some things I need to meet as family’s needs.”
Since May 2022, AML has paid resettlement compensation to 123 farmers in the Gangra and Yuelliton belts. Batch one of the recipients was 50 farmers in the Yuelliton 500-meter Buffer Zone, while the second batch listed 23 farmers affected by sediment flow near Gangra, and batch three contained 50 farmers in the Yuelliton Buffer Zone.
Jerry Fumba, Resettlement Supervisor, says there are 764 people still pending to be resettled in the Yuelliton area, where active operation is currently taking place.
Fumba said while AML maintains high standards and is observing best practices, some locals continue to move into the high bushes, planting crops in demarcated and other areas. He described such acts as dishonesty by some individuals bent on creating bottlenecks in the resettlement process.
“This is one of our biggest challenges. Most times people get a tipoff about our plans to start work in a new area. While we were clearing Gangra, not knowing they had invaded Yuelliton with crops and we don’t know who told them we would go there, and what you see there are not real farms but just something to get the company to pay money to them. We complained to the local government through the Mines Resettlement Coordination Committee (MRCC), but it yielded very little result” said Fumba.