Grand Bassa Officials Sign Bogus Logging Agreement with ‘Serbian’ Company

Editor’s Note: This story is the first of a two-part series on an illegal logging agreement between Vambo and Marloi townships in Grand Bassa County, and African Trades Entrepreneur Enterprises Incorporated.    VAMBO – Officials of Grand Bassa County have signed an illegal deal with a company to pave a dusty road through two townships in…

GVL Lays Off Nearly 450 Workers

BUTAW, SINOE COUNTY – Four hundred and forty-three workers have been laid off at Golden Veroleum Liberia, more than 10 percent of its workforce, the company said on Saturday. “[They are] due to the downturn of the global economy due to the coronavirus and the constant drop in the price of oil palm on the world…

More Cases of Multiple Sales of Land Despite Law

PIPELINE – In 2009,Jimmy Dasaw’s plan to expand Kiddies College was underway when he purchased three acres of land for US$2,600 in Pipeline, Paynesville from Johnny Hill, the administrator of Tarsue Gbazue Estate in Johnsonville. That dream for his elementary school eventually turned into nightmare.   Five years after purchasing the land, in 2014, Dasaw found himself…

Communities Use New App to Track Illegal Logging

SALAYEA, Lofa County – Rural towns and villages are now using ForestLink, a new app, to track illicit forest operations and deforestation across Liberia, including illegal logging and mining, and poaching in their communities. The tool also makes it possible for them to store and share information on mobile phones in a short period of time from…

Nimba Clans Square Off Over Customary Land Title Claims

TAPPITA DISTRICT, Nimba County – This disarmingly peaceful forest area in Liberia’s far north Tappita District has been the scene of conflict of one form or another for decades. But since 2014 it had enjoyed some peace as two clans here, supported by a US-backed project known by the acronym PROSPER, agreed on a boundary line…

Land Title Authorities Overwhelmed By Disputes

GBONYEA, Bong County – Emmanuel Tokpah always wanted a home of his own. The 27-year-old bike rider had saved enough money to begin construction on a house in this village. But his dreams were shattered in July 2016 when a group of men from neighboring Gbonata came and ordered him to stop work.  The men claimed…

River Cess the Latest Flashpoint in Clashing Laws over Land

VONDEH TOWN, River Cess – The people of this area celebrated in 2019 when a forestry company began operations here. The five-year Social Agreement signed with the company, African Wood and Lumber, an Italian-owned company, was supposed to deliver the community US$5,000 each year in scholarship funds, US$15,000 in land rental fees, two feeder roads,…

Conflicts Over Land Acquisition for Mining in Liberia and Sierra Leone

In December 2019, conflict broke out between an iron ore miner, Solway Mining Company and Gbazor villages when the company entered the Blei Forest after acquiring a mining licence from the Liberian government. The conflict was caused by a disagreement between government that badly needs revenue from the mining company and the Gbazor community who…

Bea Mountain Shifting to Underground Mining amid Environmental Concerns

KINJOR, GRAND CAPE COUNTY – Musu Konneh recalls she became speechless for several minutes when she heard that Bea Mountain Mining Corporation intends to start underground mining for gold by 2022 in a stakeholder consultation conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Konneh’s clan was one of 322 families who relocated from their ancestral villages…

Liberia on Verge of Delisting from Global Extractives Transparency Body Risking further Blow to Economy

Monrovia – Liberia risks being delisted from the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative, the global body which monitors transparency in oil and mining industries, in a move that will likely deal another blow to the shaky economy. Liberia will be delisted if it doesn’t meet a deadline set for December 31 to file overdue reports according to…

Illicit Miners Invade Gola Forest Nat’l Park

FORNOR/MANO RIVER KONGO GRAND CAPE MOUNT COUNTY – Illicit miners have invaded the Gola Forest National Park, extracting gold and diamonds from one of Liberia’s five protected areas and smuggling them across the border to Sierra Leone, local authorities say. Gola Forest National Park cuts across Sierra Leone and Liberia. Residents of Porkpa District, Grand…

Miners Drive River Cess Fishing Town into Poverty

WESSEH TOWN, River Cess – Fifty-two-year-old Churchemah Wesseh says her grandson died from malaria last year because she could not afford to pay the hospital bills in time. A fisherwoman for more than 30 years, the single mother of six hardly makes ends meet these days. Her catch has declined, and the little money she…