Siguiri: the degradation of Sêkê Oudoula’s only watercourse sparks controversy

This watercourse, called Mayeinket in Sêkê Oudoula, is the only watercourse to pass through six (6) districts including Oudoula center, Oudoula Koda, Tondji 1, Tondji 2, Tomifra, Kourako Tamba before flowing into Kènèmanden Gniagassola. Today, the localities served are cut off from the delights this watercourse once offered.

According to local residents, the destruction began when a mining company called RRMS set up operations there 6 months ago.

Sékou Camara, president of the Sêkê Oudoula district, speaks of the suffering his community is going through: "We want to expose our suffering. Whether the government knows about it or not, we don't know, but we don't want anyone to work in our watercourse anymore. Our grandparents always protected our environment, and now this company called RRMS is destroying that heritage. This river has been cut off, it's struggling to serve other districts and if it's destroyed it's something that will destroy our future and that of our children. We will not accept this."

For his part, the president of the youth group points out that no one refuses the presence of a responsible mining company in his locality. But, given the environmental impacts caused by the said company, the community has no choice but to denounce it. "Nobody refuses a mining company, but this one has come to destroy this water. When we noticed this, we wrote to the sub-prefect asking for the price of fuel so that he could pass it on to the prefect, which we did so as not to delay things, but afterwards the work continued and we haven't heard anything back. And yet this company has made us very tired, their machine even ran over one of our mothers once, which we lost. We accept to be relocated, but as long as it's not done, we can't accept to let the company continue to work under these conditions", Fanta Mady Camara said.

However, while the inhabitants of this district complain about the company's presence and call for it to leave, those in the Tondji 2 district say quite the opposite. For the latter, the environment was destroyed before the ban on the use of heavy machinery on the sites, and even if this company was part of other companies or groups present on the site, it managed to obtain the permit and cannot be blamed for all the fault. According to the president of the Tondji 2 district, the Oudoula district is jealous of not benefiting from the company's advantages.

It should be remembered that a mission from the Direction Nationale de l'Environnement had been on site. This mission, whose costs were entirely covered by the company, has not been followed up to date. As for our attempts to meet with RRMS executives, they have been in vain.

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