The Community Liaison Officer (CLO): the front line of local dialogue

Diana, a CLO in Bolivia, plays a key role in building constructive and lasting dialogue with the Guarani community near the Incahuasi project. Her focus: processing complaints and monitoring community outreach projects.
Read the transcript: 

Diana Rossell

Community Liaison Officer, Total

My name is Diana Rossell. I’m a lawyer, I have four children and I’ve been working for Total since 2012 as a Community Liaison Officer.

One of my main tasks is to maintain regular, proactive and transparent communication with the Guarani indigenous community, so we have a good understanding of their social environment.

-  Where is your daughter living now?

-  She’s in Camiri.

The area where the Incahuasi project is located, including the site and the wells, has some 25 communities with 30, 40 or 50 families each.

I visit these communities to talk to people with a particular concern. We have set up a transparent complaints procedure that corresponds to their needs. We write down the complaint, the complainant signs the form, and it is then passed on to the Project Manager for action.

The Incahuasi project currently employs around 800 people from these communities. Our use of local employees is one of the positive aspects of our presence here. Part of my job is to talk to these workers on-site, which I do on a regular basis.

The Guarani communities are relatively poor. Few of them have access to running water or electricity. They are very humble. I have had contact with Guarani families since I was a little girl. When I started at Total, I was delighted to be back in touch with them.

-  Lidia, how are you?

-  I am very well, thank you. And you?

-  I popped by to say hello. Hector, how are you?

Working for Total, I have seen first-hand how the positive impact of the Group’s work is carefully managed, especially the social programs that are being implemented within these communities.

Here, the residents chose to set up a livestock production program. This has meant building an entire livestock infrastructure system that will enable the community to produce yogurt and dulce de leche and to consume the products they make.

-  Bye, Lidia.

Visiting three communities in one day is very difficult. I get up at 5 a.m. and spend around 7 hours in the car driving around. Most of the roads are dirt tracks in poor condition. But you get over all that as soon as you reach the community and meet the people, who I look upon as friends and who always give us a warm welcome.

As far as education goes, we decided to give our support to a boarding school for the various communities. There are currently about 35 pupils. Children from communities located farther afield are now able to come to school and learn, which they were not able to do before. And now you can see how happy they are, playing in the school yard; I get a lot of satisfaction from watching them play.

We are very proud of our team of community liaison officers (CLOs) and we feel that we have reached our goal of creating a relationship based on trust with the people who live in the communities. This is something that makes us, CLOs, extremely happy. Every time we come out, it’s like coming to visit friends.

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