Mining: Chemaf inks agreement that benefits impacted DRC communities

The mining company Chemical of Africa (Chemaf) has closed on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 negotiations that lead to an agreement of the company's social responsibility towards the communities impacted by its activities in 4 ETDs (Decentralized Territorial Entities) in the province of Haut-Katanga.

Chemaf's Social Department, under the leadership of Evariste Mazeza Lukambo from Social and Public Relations Officer, devoted more than a week these negotiations which demonstrate Chemaf's vision and policy to comply with the mining code and regulations revised in 2018.

Unlike the majority of mining companies in the region which only have one or two ETDs, Chemical of Africa deals with 4 ETDs which include several communities with which this mining giant has discussed individually on its agreement. Already on October 09, 2021, the Chemaf team was negotiating with the communities of Kamasaka, Luwowoshi, Kipanta and The valley of the annex municipality to study the various projects and especially to identify priority projects with visible and lasting impact for the benefit of the entire community under the satisfied gaze of the mayor Rémy Munsense president of the Local Development Committee (CLD) who congratulated the commitment of this partner.

Discussion between Chemaf and communities

On October 15 and 16, 2021, Chemaf went in tours visit to commune of Ruashi and to the Bukanda sector on the outskirts of Lubumbashi on the Kasenga axis for that same exercise. In Ruashi, eight impacted communities and three in Bukanda sectors. Those in charge of these ETDs congratulated the availability of their partners. This journey ended in the commune of Kampemba on Wednesday, October 20 with the communities of Kabecha, Kigoma and Industriel who also presented and discussed their projects within the framework of the corporate social responsibility specifications of Chemaf.

A moment of joy for Evariste Mazeza in charge of social and public relations of Chemaf who was in the oven and the mill for the outcome of these talks. "We are very happy with the progress of the process of negotiating the specifications with communities. They had already presented their needs which have been transformed into projects. Now it was a question of prioritizing them. The negotiations took place and went well because Chemaf, in its concern for best practices and the promotion of traceability, called on the expertise of the OCE, the Carter Center and the GIZ to support the communities in order to enable them to cost the projects after to have transformed their ideas into projects. It is not easy because Chemaf works with 4 ETDs from where you have to go carefully to do things well "said the social officer within the Chemaf company.

Evariste Mazeza, in charge Chemaf's social and public relations

Towards the epilogue

The negotiation process of Chemaf's corporate social responsibility specifications in regard to the impacted communities of the 4 ETDs (communes of Ruashi, Kampemba, Annexe and the Bukanda sector) began in May 2021. The process began in May 2021 and launched by the provincial minister of mines of Haut-Katanga, Chemaf has already taken several steps, including the establishment of CLDs to negotiate with the company, the identification of priority needs and popular approval of the needs identified with communities impacted by Chemaf's activity.

For the reasons of efficiency, Chemaf called on the technical support of the Congolese Environment Observatory and the Carter Center and GIZ (structures specializing in the development of specifications) to support the communities and to ensure facilitation, a successful operation, all that remained was to select the projects to be included in Chemaf's specifications.

The company has therefore worked hard by organizing this series of negotiation meetings with the communities impacted in the 4 ETDs to achieve the expected result, that is to say to find an agreement and to reach a fair and equitable agreement with the community representatives gathered around the CLDs. The two parties having negotiated in good faith and reached an agreement on the projects to be retained according to the priorities of the communities and the means of the company, the experts of the Carter Center and the Congolese Environmental Observatory (OCE) met is delighted for the success of this crucial step.

Focus on signing the specifications ...

Now, the eyes of the communities are on the next step which will be the validation of the Specifications by the monitoring committee and the signing of the Specifications. As a reminder, the mining code and regulations revised in 2018 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo introduced three innovations in favor of communities impacted by the activities of mining companies. These are the mining royalty, the specifications and the 0.3% for future generations.

Chris Lumbu

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