16 days after The ICIR’s report, Dangote Coalmine begins development projects, fix gully in affected communities
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DANGOTE Coalmine, a subsidiary of Dangote Group has commenced developmental projects at the coal affected communities 16 days after the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) exposed environmental degradation and breach of Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act (2007) in the settlements.
Residents of Onupi and Awoakpali who spoke with The ICIR at separate interviews, Thursday morning disclosed that development works commenced last week as the road leading to the community is currently being fixed, as well as a major gully close to their stream.
Also, the company has promised to implement the new Community Development Agreement (CDA), and consider youths from the rural settlement for full employment.
The ICIR reporter visited the coal mining community recently to report the condition of living of the residents.
Outcome of the four months investigation revealed contamination of the community water sources, which triggered health challenges to the rural dwellers, especially the women.
Death of a worker was also recorded on-site, the presentation of fake Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report were among other defects unearthed by The ICIR investigation.
“What they are doing currently is to fill the gullies. The gully close to the culvert they earlier constructed is being fixed. In fact, they are almost done with the filling,” Samuel Adejoh, the former Chairman of the Awoakpali community said.
“They worked there yesterday and it appears they will send their rollers to the place today.”
At the host community, Abraham Dominic, the Youth Leader of Onupi community shared his observation on how the coal firm resolved to construct an access road around the community.
According to him, the road construction would reduce the problem of dust pollution in the affected communities.
“Right now, they came for the construction of the road and culvert. That’s what they are working on. The company itself pleaded that we should forgive them and they wrote on the completion of our demands with specific dates,” he told The ICIR.
Some of the commitment, he said includes the road construction which the firm promised would be completed before 15th of May.
“Secondly, we talked about youth employment and they asked for five persons which we have given them.
“We still spoke about the permanent staff and they said 12 workers from the community have been sent to the company’s headquarter for appraisal…”
Fredrick Ahmadu, the current Awoakpali Community Secretary to Dangote Coalmine, earlier told The ICIR that, based on feedback from Alh. Usman Jibrin, Coordinator of the mining firm, the Federal Ministry of Mines and Solid Minerals Development directed the Dangote coalmine to pay N1 million compensation to the familiy of Benedict Etonu, late staff of the firm who died while working at the mine.