With reference to an ActionAid document mentioning Addax Bioenergy (attached)
Addax Bioenergy is disappointed that it was not given the opportunity by ActionAid to review the serious allegations in its document ahead of publication or sending it to media nor that ActionAid properly contacted us during your field research. The company has always maintained a very public open-door policy to NGOs and interested observers and will continue to encourage constructive two-way dialogue and proper research.
Regrettably the latest document from ActionAid is deeply flawed in many respects, and we have many questions to challenge its methodology for gathering factual research data. Addax Bioenergy refutes categorically the accusations made by ActionAid, and wishes to underline the fact that in the period April 2010-July 2013, the company has injected US$51.39 million or 222.9 billion Leones in cash or cash equivalents into the Sierra Leone economy. Addax Bioenergy is committed to building pioneering projects in Africa which demonstrate that private investment can lead to a virtuous circle of responsible and sustainable development.
Addax Bioenergy has created a Farmer Development Programme (FDP) to improve food security and train farmers in improved agricultural practices to increase their productivity. Farmer training lasts 30 weeks in the Farmer Field and Life School (FFLS) courses.
Under the FDP, Addax Bioenergy has prepared around 2,000 hectares of community fields for 39 communities in the project area and has already trained approximately 2,000 farmers in what is the largest food programme in the country. The community fields covering about 2,000 hectares in 81 blocks and sub-divided in 1,981 household plots in total are an impressive sight and easily visible. All harvesting facts and figures for 2012 and plans for 2013 planting are publicly available and regularly announced in monthly village meetings. The 2012 publicly available and verified data show a significant improvement due to Addax Bioenergy Farmer Development Programme.
Please find enclosed the Addax Bioenergy Fact sheet with data as of July 2013.
Please also find an Open letter to ActionAid from the CEO of Addax Bioenergy and a Red line mark-up of the ActionAid document.
In reading the ActionAid document and its claims, you may wish, among many other things, to ask:
1. Why, if ActionAid conducted these studies in 2013, are they quoting harvesting figures from 2010 and 2011?
All harvesting facts and figures for 2012 and plans for 2013 planting are publicly available and regularly announced in the monthly village meetings.
The 2012 data show a significant improvement due to Addax Bioenergy Farmer Development Programme. This omission is a serious flaw in their narrative and poor science.
2. Why a very public land lease process that took place in 2009/2010, under lots of public scrutiny and international audit is now suddenly an issue for Actionaid, who has never shown any interest in our project before nor did they participate in the one year long public and transparent disclosure of land lease documentation and ESHIA in 2009/2010?
3. Why the direct agreements the Company sign with landowners in the area (Acknowledgment Agreements including maps and direct payments to the landowners) are omitted from their analysis? We can only conclude they are omitted because it would otherwise evidence free prior informed consent regarding the land lease.
4. Why Actionaid fail to present any evidence of the so called promises ABSA have made to communities in the area? No proper evidence has been presented. Many of the more than 200 public meetings have been filmed with communities since 2008.
And the Company will continue to ask if it is reasonable to believe that we would have promised to build a hospital in every village or promised to replace Government services?
The ActionAid document does not acknowledge the approach Addax Bioenergy has taken, in terms of overall business model, environmental and social programmes, innovative land acquisition processes, transparency, disclosure, stakeholder engagement and mitigation efforts, even its RSB certification. Yet, these areas are essential to any objective consideration of the topic.
With kind regards,
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