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The Relocation of Hamdallaye Village in the Midst of Covid-19.How CBG is Failing to Meet the IFC Performance Standards

Author: Centre de Commerce International pour le Développement (CECIDE), Association pour le développement rural et l’entraide mutuelle en Guinée (ADREMGUI), and Inclusive Development International (IDI), Published on: 19 June 2020

In the middle of a global public health emergency, Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG), a client of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), relocated the village of Hamdallaye in the Boké region of Guinea. The Hamdallaye community was moved to an incomplete resettlement site without adequate housing, water, and sanitation and without sufficient arable land and sustainable livelihood opportunities, in breach of IFC’s Performance Standard (PS) 5 on Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement...

According to CBG documents, a total of 105 households lived in Hamdallaye, including 74 living permanently in the village. All households but one have now been resettled to the new site...

The current situation of the resettled community, which is detailed below, is grave and in need of immediate remedial action. Of greatest concern, CBG has taken and destroyed extensive swathes of agricultural land and water resources from Hamdallaye and other villages without providing compensation or replacement land. Moreover, CBG has failed to put in place adequate measures to restore the livelihoods of the communities that it has economically displaced. Despite CBG’s assertions otherwise, all of this has occurred without effective informed consultation and participation of all segments of the affected population, including women...

Affected people have reported that conditions at the old Hamdallaye village...became “unbearable” due to the proximity of CBG’s mining operations to their homes. Communities report that the dust generated from mining activities created air pollution, in breach of PS 3. Vibrations from the dynamite blasting in the mining process also caused damage to houses. In addition, the surrounding mining activities dramatically reduced the community’s access to farming land, making it very difficult for families to continue their livelihood activities...

CBG claims in its letter that community representatives were engaged in a regular consultation process; however, community members state that their views and positions were not sufficiently considered. Women, in particular, were not effectively consulted throughout the process...

Hamdallaye residents have reported that the quality of the housing is poor and the infrastructure at the site is inadequate, particularly in relation to water and sanitation...CBG constructed the houses on land that it did not rehabilitate to ensure that it is cultivable, which will make the restoration of community livelihoods much more challenging going forward...Forty households report that at least one or more of their assets (e.g. house, sheepfold, henhouse, kitchens, etc.) were not inventoried or compensated for by the company...

Read the full post here