Challenges facing local community
ABM committed, from the date of production, to spend 4% of its in-country operating and administrative expenses on community development. This investment will be governed with representative input from local communities and managed by the Lowa Alliance, a GDRC-regulated not-for-profit foundation. ABM will continue to preserve its legal rights to develop Bisie and explore ways to assist artisanal miners to transition from illegal status to legal, conflict-free sites elsewhere in the region.
The projects, supported by the foundation, will be selected following an in-depth survey of the 13 500 households (approximately 80 000 residents) across the 44 communities closest to Bisie. Representative committees will prioritise a range of projects to promote social and economic development to which they, local authorities and potentially external donors, will also contribute. Anticipated projects could include alternative livelihoods, specifically oil palm, cocoa and coffee cultivation. These would provide incentives for incomes beyond illegal artisanal mining. It would also provide educational and health infrastructure and services, like potable water, malaria reduction and treatment and primary health care capacity building.