The management of Bear Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC) has resumed the construction of resettlement homes in New Kinjor Village with the molding of earth blocks for the construction.
The block making enterprise is part of the mine’s obligation to livelihood restoration while addressing its permanent housing commitment to direct project-affected people who were resettled because of the operation of the New Liberty Gold Mine (NLGM) project.
The locals providing block making services were identified as key stakeholders with the technical know-how to implement the block production from materials that were accessible, and capable of withstanding the impact of an earthquake.
Eighty-three (83) project affected residents are receiving livelihood income from the various forms of construction services they are providing for the construction of the resettlement homes.
The manager of Community and Government Relations for BMMC, Mr. Sando Wayne, explained that BMMC is collaborating with the project affected people to construct permanent houses for the affected population of Kinjor and Larjor villages.
Their residents were engaged to set up the HydraForm Brick Molding Enterprise of New Kinjor Village. However, distrust and internal wrangling among the villagers led them to invite the BMMC management to provide capacity and organizational support to assist with building managerial capacity for a sustainable and profitable enterprise after the construction of the resettlement houses.
The RAP, Section 10.4.2 (e) Community Agreement promised affected communities that: “At the end of the RAP Project, Aureus (BMMC) will donate the three machines to the local community who will then have a brick making business for future expansion projects, or for direct selling to other communities.”
BMMC has currently completed more than 100 housing units and toilet blocks, which are ready for turnover to the beneficiaries. The remaining units are expected to be completed in 2018. The permanent housing units form part of BMMC’s core obligation to the residents of affected communities.
The initiative, for which the Department of Community and Government Relations provides oversight, started production of HydraForm bricks on July 11, 2017. The enterprise runs two shifts of eight hours per day.
Community Relations manager Wayne explained that blocks produced by the locals with the HydraForm technology were of the same quality as cement blocks, and added that the HydraForm machines only require a limited quantity of cement to mold blocks.
According to him, more than 80 artisans have been trained in the BMMC catchment area in the use of the HydraForm machines for the production of blocks.
He indicated that with the RAP agreement to turn over the HydraForm machines to the affected communities after the completion of the housing project, the new block cooperative to be formed will reduce the challenges facing the rural housing sector in the BMMC catchment area and beyond, while becoming an ongoing livelihood restoration activity for them.
Wayne said BMMC has begun a process to develop a market plan to help the block makers track housing developments in the BMMC catchment areas and market the HydraForm block making technology to the residents.
The market plan, he explained, would be led by the current team of 66 block makers, who will play a critical role in the transformational efforts of the housing construction in the Darblo Clan.