Posted by: nativeiowan | September 11, 2011

why am I not surprised…

Row flare up

Company truck seized, landowner and chief arrested

THE issue between the Gold Ridge upper downstream communities and the Company has erupted again after what was believed to be failed negotiations.Members of the communities turned up in force again on Thursday and re-loaded the road block.

They held a company vehicle and demanded that the company pay royalties for export of gold bars.

One disgruntled villager said there was an agreement in place and villagers wanted to know how many gold bars have been exported so far.

Police were deployed at the scene on Thursday who arrested the principal landowner and a chief.

Police remained at the scene until yesterday to monitor the developments.

The roadblock continued from Thursday through to yesterday.

A regular traveller to the area Desmond Rave of the Catholic communication told Solomon Star the disgruntled villagers used a vehicle and other debris to obstruct passage to the mine site at Obo’obo.

The matter started last week but was put under control when the two sides agreed to negotiate.

The management yesterday said they held talks with the communities but did not go into detail what was reached in their meetings.

Villagers from four upper downstream communities namely Tausoro, Taurarana, Mamasa and Leivatu had initially given the company seven days for the company to respond to their claims.

The letter written to the company cited by the Solomon Star stated that their claim is on grounds that the river (Matapona) they depend upon for washing, swimming, river food and other activities had been polluted.

  • Diesel and Oil had been spilled into our rivers continuously
  • The water is very dirty, muddy and is contaminated for human use.
  • All lives in the water that we depend on were contaminated
  • Rubbish deposits from the dams, oil and contaminated water spilled into streams and feeds into the river.
  • The only way of getting income is shut off because the river we used to pan Gold was muddy and contaminated.
  • The Salave community was compensated by the company with a sum of $10,000 per household. Why are we (4 communities) neglected?
  • People have skin diseases from the contaminated river

The letter stated that due to the above reasons, the four communities agreed to demand a compensation of SBD$15.1 million.

Their calculation was based on the number of households in each community which totals 338.

Acting police commissioner Walter Kola said police will not tolerate people who take law into their own hands.

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