Eurasian Resources Group Africa’s Frontier mine has signed a Community Development Plan Agreement pledging its support towards local, sustainable development initiatives for the next five years to benefit the six communities near its operations.
The signing ceremony, which was held in Sakania, Haut-Katanga Province, DRC, was attended by the Provincial Minister of Mines, His Excellency Georges Mawine; the Administrator of the Territory, Yuma Assani Djany; the Chief of Balamba Sector, Kambotwe Kabunda; the President and members of the Local Community Development Committee; and other local dignitaries.
“With the Frontier Community Development Plan Agreement, ERG Africa is reaffirming its commitment to helping build self-sustaining and thriving communities surrounding its operations.
“We took a holistic and integrated approach to shaping the projects contained in the Community Development Plan Agreement with the aim of fostering local economic growth, improving livelihoods, creating employment, helping secure regional food security, and improving access to education and healthcare services,” said Sergei Verbitckii, Acting CEO of ERG Africa.
Through participative dialogues and extensive consultations with community members and external consultants, the Frontier community engagement team was able to propose and refine projects that address community challenges and stand to reap sustainable benefits. The projects captured in the finalised plan were collectively agreed upon to ensure transparency, align expectations and establish collective ownership amongst all stakeholders.
The projects in the plan build on previous development activities and the requirements of the 2018 mining code, and will benefit around 16,500 households. They include the completion of a large-scale water reticulation system in the town of Sakania that will provide clean domestic water to the town’s residents.
Further investment in the local infrastructure will see Frontier assisting in the construction of two new schools and supporting healthcare services.
The community-identified need for sustainable food production and economic development has also resulted in various inter-connected projects that include the diversification of agricultural projects from maize to include vegetables, legumes and poultry farming; and the development of adjacent enterprises and capacity building programmes.
These inter-woven initiatives aim to ensure that local people can organise and engage themselves effectively and equitably in agricultural markets and value chains, further fostering community resilience, food security, economic participation and improved governance.