The protests of high school and elementary school students in Shakisso and the surrounding Guji zone of Oromiya drew a promise from regional administrators to investigate complaints that the mining company’s surface mining is causing severe environmental damage and threatens the health of residents.
Gujii zone administrator, Gadaa Robee, met with representatives of the students, who agreed to return to classes if the government authorities would investigate their charges against the MIDROC Ethiopia Technology Group’s open pit mining operation in Legedembi gold mine.
The students and nearby residents also complained the MIDROC has offered no community services for a community in which many residents have been forced to leave, due to recent expansion of the mines in Sakaro after the company and the Ministry of Mines signed an agreement at the Sheraton Addis on November 24.
Ministry representative Gebre Egziabher Mekonnen told VOA’s Jalene Gemeda that the Sakaro project will use a new underground mining practice to lessen the environmental impact of the mine.
Midroc branch office spokesman in Shakisso said they had not received any formal complaint. In the meantime, Midroc has released a written statement expressing its willingness to respond to the complaints.