Helping rural communities to thrive
All of our Palm and Rubber projects in Gabon include participatory mapping and social impact assessments prior to land development. In our plantations, we obtain the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of local populations. The agreements are witnessed and managed by a Social Contract which is funded through a development budget.
We have such contracts with 46 villages – note all bar one were villages around the plantations, not on land within the concession areas. These social contracts cover multiple activities. For the 29 villages under Olam’s palm projects, these have included the following facilities from 2012 to July 2016:
Education: 6 houses for teachers and 13 schools built or rehabilitated to date, provision of classroom kits, and furnishing;
Health: 5 new pharmacies and dispensaries built, existing dispensaries supplied with medical kits and medicines;
Public infrastructure: 6 public meeting rooms built or rehabilitated
Public utilities: 29 boreholes drilled and equipped with manual pumps; over 758 solar street lights installed; 300km of public roads rehabilitated and graded;
Leisure: 4 football fields prepared and equipped, sports and other kit donated;
Support for local economic activity: 2 village cassava mills built and equipped, 28 farmer groups trained and equipped, local development committees set up to manage social development funds totalling US$450,000 as of December 2015.