Yekepa, Nimba) ─ Fifty (50) local farmland owners near Yekepa, Nimba County were the latest batch of joyful recipients of over USD $138,188 (One hundred thirty-eight thousand one hundred eighty-eight United States Dollars) in resettlement compensations from ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML). In continuing the successful implementation of the resettlement program, farmers whose tree crops and other farm properties have been counted and verified within the 500-meter buffer zone near Mount Yuelliton, Tuesday excitedly received their respective payments at the Area-B School in Yekepa, with the highest amount paid to a single farmer being USD $6,513.46 (Six thousand five hundred thirteen dollars forty-six cents). The 50 farmers benefiting from the latest round of compensation are from the town of Lugbeyee.
The AML Community Relations department confirmed that including the recent transaction, the company has now paid more than USD $ 18 million in resettlement compensation to farmers and it is expected that the amount will further increase.ArcelorMittal Liberia’s resettlement program follows both the Government of Liberia’s (GOL) laws and international best practices. The Resettlement Program focuses on evaluating assets and compensating affected farmers in areas where ArcelorMittal Liberia operates. Mining in a sustainable manner, preserving cultural heritage, and building and maintaining strong relations with local communities while operating in an environmentally friendly manner remain major hallmarks of ArcelorMittal. On June 7, 2022, an earlier batch of 50 farmers whose crops were also within the 500-meter buffer zone near Mount Yuelliton received a combined sum of USD $139,907.01.39. (One hundred thirty-nine thousand nine hundred and seven dollars), with the single highest payee receiving USD $10,000 (Ten thousand United States Dollars).
Also on July 11, 2022, ArcelorMittal Liberia paid US$137,717 to 23 farmers whose crops were counted in the 500-meter buffer zone near Yuelliton, with the highest payee taking home $11,210.98 while the second in rank took home $10,313.50. Since the start of its operations in Liberia, ArcelorMittal Liberia has prioritized proper resettlement of owners of farmlands and crops within the specified areas close to its mining operations. Local farmers in communities close to ArcelorMittal Liberia’s operations are key stakeholders and a primary beneficiary group for many of the company’s sustainable agriculture and livelihood programs like the Conversation Agriculture program which helps farmers reduce the practice of shifting cultivation through the introduction of low technology improvement to ensure food security.