14 August, 2017 Martie Steyn

COLOMBIA: EL DIAMANTE RESETTLEMENT

When AngloGold Ashanti started planning exploration activities at La Colosa in Colombia in 2006, engagement with the local community of Cajamarca was top priority for the organisation.

As part of the pre-feasibility phase, a 1.1 hectare area known as El Diamante near the La Colosa site was identified as being of interest to the company. At the time El Diamante was occupied by a number of families, however these families had no access to electricity and many were experiencing financial difficulties. Therefore, when AngloGold Ashanti expressed an interest to purchase the land, the community was open to negotiation. After several rounds of engagement, a comprehensive resettlement plan was devised in collaboration with the affected families. The resettlement plan was designed and implemented in line with the International Finance Corporation’s guidelines on best practice. The impact of the resettlement process on the affected families was thoroughly assessed and a series of mitigating actions were implemented. Many of the families were resettled to alternative areas of their choice and assisted in the establishment of sustainable livelihoods.

The Restoration of Livelihood plan incorporated the following:

  • The integrated socio-economic development plan that provides for members of each household to establish a livelihood and improve the family’s quality of life.
  • The community integration plan to help families settle into their new communities – this involved getting support from neighbours and community action groups.
  • The human development plan that provides for access to information of state services such as health and education.
  • A housing improvement plan that provides for access to decent housing and an improved quality of life.
  • A skills training plan to facilitate skills development for families to ensure each family can earn a sustainable living.

A total of 51 families (179 people) were affected by the resettlement. To date, 20 families were successfully resettled on their new properties and are engaged in sustainable livelihoods. The remaining 31 families are still in the process of training and livelihood development. The process is expected to be complete by mid-2017.