25 August 2022
Wikhupuri village is inaugurated
On 25 August, Cabo Delgado’s Secretary of State officially inaugurated Wikhupuri village, previously referred to as the Resettlement Village, built by Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) to house 105 families.
MRM spent more than USD 10 million developing this new community, which now provides a home and essential infrastructure for families previously resident in Ntoro village, located within a prospective mining area. Stretching to 2,400 hectares, the village and accompanying farmland were offered as part of a concession agreement between the mine and the local residents.
This project demonstrates MRM’s ongoing commitment to community development. As well as building the homes themselves, the mine has also constructed roads, a primary school, market, church, mosque, police station, administrative building and provided clean water, electricity and drainage for this new village, which is located just west of the Namanhumbir administrative post. The result is a place where locals can thrive and build a life for their families.
Additionally, MRM has provided funding of USD 1.8 million for a Vocational Training Centre (VTC), which is expected, over a seven-year period, to provide 2,100 men and women with skills to make them more employable; these include plumbing, painting and bricklaying, among others. It is also hoped that the VTC will give residents employment alternatives to illegal mining, something which is of great concern to MRM.
At the inauguration ceremony, Cabo Delgado’s Secretary of State, António Njanje Taimo Supeia, described this as “a milestone in the lives of [local people]”, noting the potential for the new village to improve the quality of life of families, each of whom will receive a land title (DUAT) from the state for an area of 5,000 square metres which includes the main house as well as two hectares of agricultural land. Also at the ceremony, District Administrator of Montepuez, Isura Máquina, said, “we can already see that the small village is becoming a real village.”
One new resident described being given a house as akin to receiving “a new life”; another praised MRM for investing in better conditions for the community. MRM’s Corporate Director, Raime Raimundo, summed it up, saying, “today we are not only inaugurating a resettlement village, but we are also inaugurating a dream.”