Over Confused Community Relations Strategy… SL Mining Communities On Time Bomb

The respective communities affected by the operations of the SL Mining Company are presently on a time bomb, largely due to a confused Community Relations Strategy currently being rolled out by the newly appointed Community Relations team.
It will be recalled that the Management of the SL Mining Company, in response to the incessant pressures from the Lunsar Community over the issues of employment and other Corporate Social Responsibility issues, decided to appoint three senior citizens of Lunsar, who included veteran politician and one time Member of Parliament, Osman Karankay Conteh, Professor Sheik Umar Kamara and Algasimu Jah to superintend the activities of the respective communities.
These newly appointed Community Relations Manager and Superintendent lacks adequate knowledge and the required experience to manage the numerous communities that have a plethora of problems to contend with. It is a fact that subsequent Governments have not been expending the 0.5% on all annual exports of iron ore on Community Development projects and hence the affected communities are in a dire need of everything starting from water to good roads and schools.
This medium has closely followed the strategy of the new team, which had involved raising the hopes of the communities that things will improve for the better with them at the helm of affairs. They have been particularly raising tensions around employment issues, assuring the communities that the issue of employment would be addressed with them in charge.
Several months down the line, the communities are still in the same plight and nothing has been done to address even some of the license conditions with regards the management of the various communities affected by their operations.
The problem is further compounded by the fact that SL mining is yet to export iron ore out of the country. It has quite recently conducted an impact assessment along the Port Loko creek river with a view to dredge the channel to facilitate the arrival of bigger vessels into the Thofaim Port.
The question many are asking now is whether the change to the Community Relations team would actually solve the numerous problems confronting the communities.
A senior youth leader in the area has told nightwatch that the new community team is busy riding porsh cars around and making lofty promises in the various communities, largely disregarding the current challenges of SL Mining as well the economic crunch facing the country, which has a corresponding impact on private businesses including SL Mining.
The youths and other able bodied men in Lunsar and its surrounding are still looking out for jobs after they agitated that the employment of their kith and kin would have a turn around on the activities of the mines.
Unconfirmed sources from SL Mining have stated that an attempt by the new community team to hijack the employment Department of the Company, as a way out of solving the perennial employment, has been met with stiff resistance from company authorities.
HR remains an integral component of the management of every company as it does not only look at personnel recruitment but also other critical areas like training and staff motivation, etc, etc.
The situation at Lunsar and its various communities, especially at the relocated Port of Thofaim and the other communities along the channel, who spoke to this medium, have noted that they would soon go berserk as they are tired of waiting. Dust, noise, pollution and lack of alternative routes to go about their normal business, coupled up with the lack of employment facilities, has made matters worse.
The stakeholders in these villages have noted that they are sitting on a time bomb and that all the fake promises of the new community teams with regards employment and other CSR issues have failed. These promises are not likely to happen very soon due to the challenges facing the company. The very high hopes, that an appointment of their own indigenes into the operations of SL Mining Company will create more jobs and other CSR projects have failed.
Managing communities require some tact and experience, especially so when the dynamics vary from one community to another. Communicating to the respective stakeholders should be guided by company policies and long term aspirations of the company for affected communities.
Attempts to get the reaction of the community team and the Paramount Chief of Lunsar proved futile as we go to press.

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