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Jikandor Residents Threaten Bea Mountain

By Bill W. Cooper

The people of Jikandor in Grand Cape Mount County have threatened to take legal action against Bea Mountain Mining Company, due to the pollution of their water and other human rights violation meted against them by the company.

Recently, there have been cries from the people of Cape Mount against Bea Mountain Mining Company, over the pollution of their water, as well as damaging of their crops as a result of the spillage of the company’s contaminated waste.

But despite the cries of the people, the Liberian government, through the National Legislature, went ahead and rectified the Mineral Development Agreement between Bea Mountain and Liberia, granting the company an additional 25 years to operate in Liberia.

But addressing a news conference over the weekend, at his Sannoh and Partners Law Firm in Monrovia, the legal counsel of the people of Jikandor, Cllr. Benedict Sannoh, disclosed that Bea Mountain, in May of 2022, contaminated the Marvo Creek that Jikandor people depend on for cooking, drinking, and bathing.

This, Sannoh further revealed, that the Environmental Protection Service (EPA), in one of its findings, instructed Bea Mountain to supply drinking water and food kind to Jikandor, including the usage of Marvo Creek, but that has not been done since, making life difficult for the region.

According to him, Bea Mountain has failed to comply with all of the recommendations from EPA, noting, “And as I speak, another incident occurred in February of this year, and caused the death of several fishes and aquatic species along the Marvo creek banks.”

He explained that the mining company has also failed to address the critical recommendations to support the voluntary resettlement of the village of Jikandor as potential relief to the community, considering the proximity to the current Tailing Storage Facility (TSF) and other facets of the company’s operation.

Sannoh asserted, “It will also concern you to know that many of the people of Jikandor are suffering from diverse medical ailments, attributable to the cyanide contamination of the Marvo Creek and the water.”

“Some residents have also come down with skin diseases, headache, dizziness, restlessness, nausea, and many may likely develop heart, brain and nerve damage as a long term effect of Bea Mountain’s exposure to cyanide leaked into the creek,” he warned.

The Jikandor Legal Counsel furthered that the people have done everything possible to have the matter amicably resolved, by writing several letters to the Ministries of Justice, Mines and Energy, National Bureau of Concession, and the Legislature, but all to no avail.

“But let the word go forth that the people of Jikandor are tired with Bea Mountain and have resolved to take recourse to the law, as made and provided by seeking judicial enforcement of the EPA recommendations, in which the company was mandated to support the voluntary resettlement of the villagers of Jikandor,” he said.

Cllr Sannoh further called on the EPA to ensure the conduct of a full scale assessment of the Tailing Storage Facility at Bea Mountain Operation, and relocation of Jikandor people as a pollution affected community.

He also called for the development of a restoration plan, through a third party EPA certified consultancy firm and approved by them, stressing that the people of Jikandor have resolved to take recourse to the courts by ways of action of damages of injuries instilled on them by Bea Mountain.

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