Sierra Leone: Study claims villagers are displaced by Addax Bioenergy's ethanol plantation leading to loss of livelihood & access to water

Addax Bioenergy's Memorandum of Understanding (09 February 20100 and Land Lease Agreement (2010) can be viewed at openlandcontracts.org

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Article
15 June 2011

[PDF] Independent study report of the Addax Bioenergy sugarcane-to-ethanol project in the Makeni region in Sierra Leone

Author: Mike Anane, Cosmos Yao Abiwu

[M]any farmers in project affected communities have already lost their access to fertile lands…Even as Addax pledges to use only “marginal” lands in the Chiefdoms, it is obvious from the field research that the company took large tracks of fertile and well-watered land. The bolilands have good access to water and are currently used for rice production, by thousands of small-scale farmers including women. The affected farmers said Addax had an oral agreement with them that no bolilands will be used for the plantations…Water has become an ever increasing problem for the communities as lands leased by Addax are currently being prepared and even at this initial stage some water bodies have ceased to exist.

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Article
15 June 2011

[PDF] Study reveals alarming facts about ethanol plantation of Addax Bioenergy in Sierra Leone

Author: Bread for all

The Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food…published the Independent Study report on the sugarcane-to-ethanol project of the Geneva based firm Addax Bioenergy [part of Addax & Oryx Group]…The researchers found that "many farmers in project affected communities have already lost their access to fertile lands, though Addax has provided community members with alternative farm lands and confined them to smaller lands, promises by Addax to plough and harrow the lands materialized too late in 2010. This led to very low yield on these fields and local communities reported to now face growing food insecurity and hunger…water has become an ever increasing problem for the communities as lands leased by Addax are currently being prepared and…some water bodies such as the ‘Kirbent‘ and ‘Domkoni‘ streams…have ceased to exist.”

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Company response
17 June 2011

Statement by Addax Bioenergy in response to a report commissioned by Swiss and German NGO’s on 15th June 2011

Author: Addax Bioenergy

Addax Bioenergy vigorously contests the allegations contained in the strongly biased report which neither reflects the reality on the ground nor takes any notice of the unprecedented efforts deployed on the ground to engage with local communities and improve their daily lives. This report, which is only scientific by name, has clearly been written with an agenda: to stir up the media in the name of a self-empowered role to protect local people. The polemic, undifferentiated and unscrupulous approach seems to be a habit in the activist sphere as one of their representatives admitted in a correspondence with Addax Bioenergy: “I accept your criticism on this outdated text in which I slightly distorted the facts as I only had a superficial knowledge of the project”.

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