WITNESS NGO ĖCCSHRA- SL BUMBUNA HYDRO ELECTRICITY PROJECT BHEP/PIU STATUS REPORT
Coalition of Civil Society and Human Rights Activists- SL was awarded the contract as the witness Non- Governmental Organization for the Bumbuna Hydroelectric project implementation on 25th January 2007 to act as decent observer. CCSHRA-SL the witness NGO is mandated to witness the whole displacement compensation and resettlement process throughout the duration of the Resettlement Operation so as to verify the compliance of the implementation of Resettlementís Action plan with GoSL commitments under Sierra Leone legislation and World Bank policy requirements on Involuntary Resettlement.
ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN AS WITNESSED BY WITNESS NGO IN DIANG AND KASUNKO CHIEFDOMS IN KOINADUGU DISTRICT AND KALANSOGOIA IN TONKOLILI DISTRICT
FOOD AID PROGRAM
This program was designed in conjunction with the World Bank to provide food aid assistance to 200 project-Affected people that will be relocated from their original lands as a result of the impoundment of the dam. The food package consists of 50Kg rice,3 gallons red palm oil and 12Kg beans to about 200 family households monthly July 2007 to November, 2008. we have witnessed the distribution and provision of the food up-to-date. The program is implemented by Organization for Research and Extension of Intermediate technology (OREINT) with Office at 48 Wellington Street, Freetown.
CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSES
The resettlement package includes among others construction of houses to project-affected people that lose their original houses as a result of the relocation. As of date we have witnessed the handing over of 43 houses to the project-Affected people at Katene, Kabendugu, Kunsulima and Fadugu. This project was implemented by BECEOM/Techsult and constructed by Manpower Construction Company using local Labour and materials in the process.
COMPENSATION FOR ECONOMIC TREES
The compensation of PAPs for their economic trees is a major component of the Resettlement package as of date 213 beneficiaries had been paid in cash as witnessed by us amounting to Le 901, 821,785 through Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, supervised by Resettlement Unit Consultant of the project implementation (PIU) WNGO Supervisor- Philip P. Lansana and Mr. John Rice- BCEOMT/Techsult Resettlement Unit Team Leader Team Leader
COMPENSATION FOR SACRED SITES AND COMMUNITY BUSH
Compensation for sacred sites (Grave-Yards, Bondo bush, Poro and Gbangbani bushes) have been completed in 21 villages by BCEOMT/Techsult under the supervision of the PIU. This is as a result that the villages have lost the "bushes" and need to relocate them in their new settlements, hence land for land exchange.
PROVISION FOR RIVER TRANSPORTATION
To facilitate the movement of the Project-Affected People across the River Seli upon impoundment, six (6) dug-out canoes with motorized plank boat (outboard machines) were provided to Kasokira Kalansonyoia, Diang (Waia) and Kafunkunder the World Bank policy on Involuntary Resettlement requirement. Training in ferrying and water safety techniques were conducted by OREINT.
Training of selected farmers in Farmers Field Schools have been conducted by Business Engineering and Scientific Technology (BEST). Sorbeh, Mabohamdey, Akutayandy and Hauthukumaya-CBOs have also benefited from agricultural inputs.
As indicated, the WNGO in collaboration with other stakeholders document and settle problems that may arise between PAPs and other stakeholders. As a date minor problems among the PAPs have been settled by the WNGO while the major one dealing with the Waia Town location has been referred to PIU. There is an existing grievance producer which Project-Affected persons are encouraged to use. There has been no history of protests or rioting throughout the resettlement process for the Reservoir area. The project has enjoyed a cordial relationship with the traditional rulers, PAPs, and other stakeholders as perceived by our organization.
FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION
WNGO has undertaken monthly focus group discussions to get the views of the PAPs for their relocation has resettlement. During the meetings critical issues reported have been reported to PIU Resettlement Unit Consultant and necessary action had been satisfactorily taken.
CLOSURE OF THE RESETTLEMENT OFFICES AT BUMBUNA AND FADUGU
The Resettlement Unit offices established by BCEOM AT Bumbuna and Fadugu were closed as the contractor BCEOM has its contract terminated. The world bank, the major funding donor has however mandated BHEP/PIU to engage another resettlement consulting firm to replace BCEOM/Techsult after which the full scale remaining resettlement unit activities shall resume.
Community infrastructural programs including schools, health and community centres shall commence in the project area in accordance with the schedule of activities of the new consultant firm.
COMPENSATION FOR PEOPLE ALONG THE TRANSMISSION LINE
Upon completion of the running of the transmission line cables from Bumbuna Project site to NPA in Freetown, the people will be compensated within the constrains of the available compensation budget. WNGO will also witness this particular process of the compensation as usual. Monitoring and Evaluation is still on course and shall continue by WNGO-CCSHRA-SL
It is important to conclude that the implementation of BHEP is course to be completed within the stipulated timeframe.
Also necessary important to note is that funds for the outlined activities are available with BHEP/PIU