Zambia: NGO says First Quantum Minerals failed to adequately restore locals' livelihoods after resettlement to pave way for mining operations; company did not respond
A letter by Zambia-based Network for Community Resource Governance (NCRG) to First Quantum Minerals (FQM) reveals how the company failed to restore the local community's livelihood after it was resettled to pave way for the company's operations. The impacts include inadequate housing, lack of social amenities and reduced agricultural yield due to failure to resettle the community on an arable farm compared to where it was displaced from.NCRG requested Business & Human Rights Resource Centre to seek a response from First Quantum Minerals. First Quantum Minerals has not responded. We shall post the company's response when we receive it.
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- Related stories: Zambia: NGO says First Quantum Minerals failed to adequately restore locals' livelihoods after resettlement to pave way for mining operations; company did not respond
- This is a non response from the following companies: First Quantum Minerals
NGO requests First Quantum Minerals to restore locals' livelihoods after resettlement to pave way for company's operations
Author: Network for Community Resource Governance (Zambia)
"Community Grievance Against FQM"
We write to bring to your attention how First Quantum Minerals’ resettlement program in Zambia’s 21 Miles Village has negatively impacted the local community and seek your intervention in the matter...As you may be aware, there is a copper mine initially operated by FQM located 2 km from the Zambian border, near Sakania, and currently operated by Eurasian Resources Group (ERG). Though located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the mine has direct negative social challenges to the Zambian community of 21 miles including on the local community relocated by FQM to pave way for your company’s entrance to the mine...
In 2009 the community was relocated and settled in a nearby area, currently owned by FQM. The villagers have several grievances regarding the resettlement.
- The houses that they were allocated are one bedroomed regardless of the size of the family. For instance, Beatrice Kashita, one of the relocated residents complains that the house she was relocated to is too small for her family of 12 people. This has forced her to construct additional grass-thatched houses to accommodate all the members of her household.
- The houses lack proper ventilation and some have incomplete flooring.
- FQM has not fulfilled its pledge to construct social amenities such as school and health facilities. Their children have to travel long distances to access the nearby public school with some opting to discontinue schooling.
- The land on which FQM resettled the villagers is less fertile than where they had originally settled. This has led to a drastic decline in food production compromising the villagers’ ability to meet their food requirement and sell any surplus to the market to meet their basic needs, as they used to in the past.
- FQM did not fulfil its undertaking to provide them with basic food supplies for one year immediately after the relocation.
- FQM did not fulfil its undertaking to provide them with farm inputs for five years immediately after the relocation to support them with adaptation techniques.