Alhamdulilai Company in charge of mining at Sambouya

By Mustapha Jallow
The sand mining at Kartong, which had been a source of conflictAlhamdulilai Company
between the community and miners, has now transferred to Sambouya
in the same Kombo South district with a company called
Alhamdulilai Petroleum Mineral Company Limited being in charge of the
operations.When this reporter visited the site yesterday, 19 January 2016, he was
told that the mining activities had started almost a month ago.

Modou Ceesay, one of the truck drivers, said he collects the trips of
sand from the site and takes them to the Turn Table area at Brusubi
where they are sold to customers in the construction industry.

He said he buys a ticket from the Alhamdulilai Petroleum Mineral
Company Ltd for each trip of sand at D1,285, pay loaders D500, buys
fuel at D2,500 and pays National Transport Control Association D35. He said
the sand is sold at D7,500 or D8,000 per trip at the Turn Table at
Brusubi.
One of the officials at the site said they are presently mining the
white sand for building construction works but will eventually start
mining the black sand or elminite.

When asked whether the Gamico Company which was responsible for the
mining of the elminite at Kartong is still involved in the mining at
Sambouya, he said it has closed its operations but that another
company is now in charge. He, however, referred the reporter to the
Geology Department under the office of the president for more
information on the issue.

One Mr.Drammeh, who identified himself as a miner, said both the
authorities and the community of Sambouya have reached an agreement
concerning mining in the area. He said a Chinese company will be
coming to commence the mining of the black sand. He also referred the
reporter to the Geology Department for more details.

While at the site, this reporter also observed that many palm trees
were uprooted in order to create more room for mining
activities.
There were more than 200 trucks waiting for their turns to collect
sand at the site. As the caterpillars scoop the sand deep, water also
comes out from the ground.

Both Yama Bojang and MbinkyTouray, women gardeners, complained that
their garden fences were burnt down.
“When I came in the morning, I found the fence which I erected around
my garden to fend off stray animals removed,” disclosed Mrs. Bojang.

The women were apprehensive of losing their gardens, as the removal or
burning down of the fences is meant to clear the area, according to
them.
“We depend on these gardens for our livelihoods because the vegetables
that are produced here are partly consumed and the rest sold to earn
money to take care of the other needs of the family,” revealed Mrs.
Touray.
She added that “If the land is going to be appropriated from us, then
we must be compensated.”
The affected gardeners appealed to the government to protect them and
look after their interest as they are poor women who are struggling
very hard on a daily basis in order to support their husbands in the
upkeep of their families.