Logging Company Brings Opportunities to Southeast Liberia
Story originally published on Ceasefire Liberia
By Leroy M. Sonpon, III reporting from the Southeast of Liberia
About 16,000 Sinoeians from 19 towns, including Pyne’s Town and Seekon districts, and more than 15,000 Grand Gedeians from towns, including Tchein, Cavalla and Putu districts, have officially signed agreements with the Geblo Logging Company.
The Geblo Logging Incorporated is the winner of the Forestry Management Contract (FMC) Area ‘I’ through a comparative bidding process and is expected to operate both in Sinoe County, on 53,411 hectares of forest land, and in Grand Gedeh County on 78,055 hectares of forest land, totaling 131,466 hectares over 25 years, beginning in 2010.
The signing of the contracts came after Geblo Logging Incorporated paid about 60% of all their taxes in addition to the over US$5 million that has been paid into government revenue by forestry concessional companies. According to the agreement which was signed by the Sinoeians and Grand Gedeians on Saturday, January 31, 2010 and Tuesday, February 3, 2010 respectively, 30% of the annual land rental paid to the government belongs to the affected communities, while the other 30% is for the 15 counties and the remaining 40% is for central Government.
The documents state that GEBLO should recondition and maintain the roads, bridges and provide first preference for employment for skilled and unskilled employees of the affected communities. The documents also mandate GEBLO to building elementary schools, clinics in the affected communities, pay US$1.50 for cubic meter of log and help with human resource development, amongst others.
The 10-man elected Community Forestry Development Committee (CFDC) in Sinoe County, Mr. Nathaniel Gee of Voogbar Pee town and Roland Kai of Putu thanked the Management of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the local government and Geblo Logging Company for the historic opportunity given to the locals to include the indigenous in the discussion of natural resources.
“Since 1847, this have never happened before and we are happy that through the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-led government we have realized this for the very first time, so we are grateful and say thank you to everybody,” CFDC Chairman Gee noted in Pyne’s Town, Sinoe County.
“We are happy today that we can be called upon to discuss how our towns and villages can be developed from our forests. We want to say a very big thanks to Mama Ellen,” CFDC Chairman Kai averred in Putu Jarwodee in Grand Gedeh County.
The General Manager of GEBLO, Alexander Wento thanked the affected communities from each county and vowed to implement every letter within the agreement.
“I want to tell the youths, the women and elders that there will be schools, clinics, reconditioned roads, more than 200 jobs and lots of development. All we need is your continuous cooperation,” Mr. Wento said.
Tags: Ceasefire Liberia , Ellen Johnsons Sirleaf , Forest , Geblo Logging , Grand Gede , Liberia , Logging , Sinoe
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.