ArcelorMittal Liberia Refutes Buchanan Flood Victims’ Allegation

BUCHANAN – The Management of ArcelorMittal Liberia has refuted claims that they are responsible for the damage of homes by floods during last rainy season.

In July and August 2018, over 75 homes were damaged by floods, leaving about 200 persons homeless as a result of a week-long heavy downpour across Buchanan in Grand Bassa County.

Liberia experiences rainy and dry seasons yearly, which occur in a bi-annual form with the rains lasting from April to September, while the dry season runs from October and March.

The AML Company through its Superintendent of Communications, Nykita Diggs, told the Liberia News Agency that the information regarding the flood has no iota of truth, explaining that the company even provided assistance to some flood victims in the “Dirt Hole Community”, assuring that the company will not be involved in anything that will negatively affect the citizenry.

Earlier, some of the flood victims residing in the Fairgrounds Community in Buchanan told LINA that the construction of the AML fence in the waterway caused the heavy flow of water to enter their homes and render them homeless.

Pastor James K. Teah of the Jesus Evangelistic Healing and Deliverance Ministries along with Anthony Weedee and  Pa Tamba further explained that the construction of the fence has hampered the free flow of water during the rainy season, blocking drainages with adverse effect on residents.

“We have lived here for more than 10 years and have not experienced anything as such, but upon the construction of the AML fence this trouble began,” the flood victims asserted.

In separate interviews with LINA, the citizens explained that they are worried because another rainy season will come and that their homes could be affected more than the 2018 flooding.

However, in her reaction, Ms. Diggs described such information as a ‘speculation’, adding: “That is why we worked along with the County leadership and its Engineering Team and it was established in July of last year that ArcelorMittal is not linked to the flood situation, but instead the over piling of dirt in the drainages.”

She said if the communities continue to raise concern about the effects of the flood, it would be important for the County leadership and the company to collaborate to identify the root cause of the flood.

“We need qualified engineers to speak on the issue after an investigation that the fence is the cause of the flood and not just an ordinary observation,” Diggs said.

It was also clarified by the AML spokesperson that the company is open to working collectively in resolving the situation that is confronting the citizens, considering that they are a partner to Liberia’s development.

AML is an iron ore mining company operating in Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa counties.

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About Cholo Brooks 13510 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.