ArcelorMittal Liberia on Monday, July 12, 2022, continued its payment of huge sums of money to scores of local farmers in operational areas in Nimba County, totaling more than US$700,000 to date.
On Monday, AML’s finance team paid a total of US$137,717.39(one hundred thirty-seven thousand seven hundred seventeen United States dollars thirty nine cents) to 25 tree crop farmers in Nimba County, who had requested that the company compensates them for the loss of tree crops.
“This payment is made after ArcelorMittal made the determination to compensate a number of farm owners whose crops fall within its operational areas in Nimba County,” ArcelorMittal Liberia Finance Officer, Floyd Morgan, said. “Today’s payment is a little over US$137,000.
“Due to our operation in the communities we had some of the farms damaged, and the farmers told us about those issues while we sent our team in, and they accessed the situation and we came up with the agreement to pay.”
According to Morgan, after all the documentation, ArcelorMittal was making available the money to 25 farmers whose crops were affected.
“They are various crops, rubber, and anything you planted there we will pay for it,” the finance officer disclosed.
Asked how the company determines payment for affected crops, Morgan said the crops are paid for in line with international market price, and in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Each of the twenty-five farmers could be seen in a live broadcast on Nimba D-19 TV as they collected their cheques at the Yekepa Theatre.
“My name is Yah Dolo,” one of the beneficiaries introduced herself, and said she had come to receive her cheque because her farm was affected by AML’s mining activities.
“I already started my building, and I will use this money to complete it. This money will help me carry my building up,” she stated.
Yah said she was planting kola, mango, avocado and other crops, but she thanked the company for being considerate by making the payment to the affected farmers.
Emmanuel Dolo, one of the farmers, however, appealed to the company to provide job opportunities for them. He said the payment is nevertheless much appreciated.
By June this year, the amount paid by ArcelorMittal Liberia in compensation to farmers was US$566,118.83 (five hundred sixty-six thousand one hundred eighteen United States dollars and eighty-three cents).
In July 2021, ArcelorMittal Liberia paid US$426,212.44 (four hundred twenty-six thousand, two hundred twelve United States dollar forty-four cents) in compensation to 161 owners of 177 farms and 9 farm kitchens within the drill paths of Mount Yuelliton buffer.
Monday’s payment of US$137,717.39 (one hundred thirty-seven thousand seven hundred seventeen United States dollars thirty nine cents) to 25 additional farmers in Nimba brings to a total of US$703.836.55 (seven hundred three thousand, eight hundred thirty-six United States dollars fifty-five cents) in payment to farm owners in Nimba alone.
ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Community Relations Department, in collaboration with local stakeholders, worked long hours to meticulously count and verify all tree crops and other farm assets on the top of Mount Yuelliton and within the 500-meter buffer zone for compensation.
Over 600 (six-hundred) farms have been covered in the crop counting process, and that farmers are being paid in groups of 50 at a time.
ArcelorMittal is expected to pay more than USD $ 1 million in farmers’ compensation after communities surrounding Mount Yuelliton presented a list of 1,173 people, with some claiming one or more farms in the area.