MONROVIA-Following the publication of an article that Solway has violated agreements reached with communities, the company said it was untrue. In a statement issued on Thursday, it said it has fulfilled its part of the agreement.
The management of Solway Mining Incorporated has fulfilled payments of community benefits in Nimba County, where it is carrying on iron-ore exploration.
Among other things, the company has completed the payment of US$30,000 for land rental, covering a three-year period, including this year. Management and community representatives completed the final payment of the land rental fee on Monday, January 24, 2022, at the company’s Monrovia office.
Additionally, Solway agreed to pay US$75,000 for tree species toward the joint community forest management program. The parties agreed that the amount would be paid through three installments with an initial payment of US$10,000 which was made on January 3, 2022.
The company and communities also agreed that the two percent health and education benefit payments will not be done in cash but through health and education projects that will be identified by the affected communities.
The communities also agreed with Solway and broke ground for the construction of the Zolowee Water Project (ZWP) that would benefit the three clans.
The company made the payments to Blei, Zor-Tappa, Zolowee, Sehi Kodoo communities after three months of disagreement over the payment procedure. Communities demanded the company pays their health and education benefits in cash, but Solway disagreed, and this resulted in a stalemate. However, following the intervention of the Mines and Energy ministry, and Nimba County District#4 Representative Prince Tokpah, the parties agreed that the amount would be paid through the identification of projects which Solway will fund.
“We are not here to cheat anybody. We have agreed that moving forward, we will make the two percent payment through the funding of projects,” said Theophilus B. Dennis, Solway’s Technical Services Manager. “The issue was resolved through constant dialoguing and negotiation with the communities. The communities are our co-partners, and we are pleased that this issue about benefit payments are now peacefully resolved.”
“We are not angry. We only wanted Solway to live up to its commitment,” said Saye Thompson, Chief Officer of the Blei Community Forest and Chairperson of the Northern Nimba Forest landscape. “Our people are also satisfied with the latest agreement. “The locals, including commissioners in the district, are very happy.”