One Sky and CSSL have an established presence in Koidu, Kono where we
have just begun a two-year project funded by the Canadian International
Development Agency (CIDA) and private donations. One component of our
project is to restore alluvial diamond
mining sites predominantly into agriculture land. By using local expertise,
we are in the process of identifying a high profile mined area that has
important biological value in terms of its proximity to streams, drinking
water, forest ecosystems or habitat as well as sociological factors including
cultural significance, tenure, profile and current use.
Promoting organic agricultural practices on existing land and restored
mining grounds will not only rehabilitate the lowland areas it will limit
incursions into forested areas and protect local biodiversity and endemic
species. In addition it will protect important freshwater and groundwater
sources by stabilizing the riparian hydrology and reducing erosion and
the siltation of local streams. We have spoken with the local government
authorities and paramount chiefs and they are strongly in support of this
project. The restoration is expected to get underway in March 2007 during
the dry season. Hydrology and engineer experts will be contracted to ensure
proper design of restoration. The restoration will be completed by local
community members and CSSL staff.
From other examples of mining restoration of topsoil in West Africa and
Sierra Leone itself, experience indicates there will be crops produced
within 12 months of soil restoration. Our main objective for the first
site is to restore an old diamond mining site to demonstrate that it can
be turned into viable agriculture land and transform the mining pools
from malaria infested mosquito breeding grounds to their natural state
of hydrology. Depending on level of “green diamond” support,
we will hopefully expand the program and restore multiple sites.
By buying a green diamond, we guarantee that 100% of your funds will be
used for alluvial diamond mining restoration in Kono, Sierra Leone.
The more support we get, the more land we will be able to restore to
improve sustainable livelihoods of local community members.
Positive potential impacts:
malarial breeding grounds get filled or reverted to natural or near
natural stream hydrology
soil runoff and leachate from exposed mineral soils is mitigated.
Topsoil and humous layer maintained or restored
upper layer and mid layer soil horizons and geophysical hydrology/water
agriculture seen as a sustainable livelihood
food security improved in the immediate area
the protection of nearby forest habitat and biodiversity through reclaiming
degraded lands and avoiding expansion into forested hillsides
greater environmental awareness
community engagement in land protection and land use