Liberia: AML Pays US$139,000 to Farmland Owners

ArcelorMittal Liberia has completed another round of compensation to 23 farmers whose crops and farmlands were affected by mining activities near Mount Gangra.

On July 11, farmers whose crops had been counted near Mt. Gangra received checks of various amounts totaling US$139,907. The highest amount paid to one of the farmers was US$10,000. 

According to AML Resettlement Supervisor Jerry Fumba, amounts received by farmers are based on the size of the farm and the types of crops and properties that were counted. Mr. Fumba said the price of a tree crop is determined by the market price and payment is made in accordance with that price.

He named some of the crops counted as rubber, guava, pawpaw, pineapple, plantain/banana, avocado, orange, and mango, among others. Floyd Morgan, AML Finance Officer urged the recipients to make better use of their compensation to empower themselves and transform their lives. 

The payment team was represented by AML Community Relations staff and members of the Farmers Union in Yarmein. It can be recalled that on June 7, farmers whose crops have been counted and recounted near Yuelliton received checks of various amounts totaling nearly US$140,000. 

The payment of resettlement benefits to farmers whose farms and land are affected by the mining operation is a standard ArcelorMittal Liberia policy in line with national and international laws and has been ongoing since the arrival of the company to Liberia in 2005.

Over the last five months, the Community Relations Department worked tirelessly to count and recount all tree crops on the top of Yuelliton and within the 500-meter buffer zone for compensation to enable the farmers to re-establish themselves.

Resettlement Supervisor Jerry Fumba said over 500 farms have been covered in the crop counting process, and that they are paying farmers by segments of 50 per group.   

When communities surrounding Mount Yuelliton were asked to submit the list of farmers, they presented 1,173 farmers with one person possessing more than one farm.  Considering the number of farmers to compensate, Fumba said it is estimated that AML will be paying over a million United States dollars to farm owners.  

In less than a year ArcelorMittal Liberia has paid over half a million United States Dollars in compensation to owners of farmlands near Mount Yuelliton.