New Narratives supports dozens of investigations into climate, land and water justice in West Africa each year. We shine a spotlight on the impacts on real people here on the frontlines of climate change. IN Ghana our work has focused on the dramatic impacts of air pollution. We have highlighted the work of changemakers and supported the work of civil society organizations bringing transparency to these crucial sectors. See some of our work here. We thank our donors – the Clean Air Fund, American Jewish World Service, Australian Aid, German Development Cooperation, and Norad – for support.

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…

Land Dispute Driving Villages into Poverty in Lofa

MamadeeKelledue, Lofa County – Fatuma Kamara, turned to gardening, planting plantains, cassavas and bananas after her husband died more than three decades ago. Her garden prospered. Proceeds from the garden did not only feed her family but left her with enough money to save and pay her children’s tuition. It seemed her dream of becoming one…

County Authorities Fight Community over Logging Deal in Bassa

Residents of District #3B&C in Grand Bassa County on a sunny day in July 2018 gathered in their numbers to celebrate the presentation of an official certificate from the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) that gives them the right to manage their forest. They slaughtered a cow, had a big feast and partied all nightlong. That…

Liberia: Foya Fights to Prevent Yearly Forest Fire

KPANDU, LOFA COUNTY – Andrew Saah Kendema expected a big harvest, not the big fire that swept through his farm and thousands of acres of forest land in the Foya Tengia District of Lofa County in March this year.  His sugarcane farm would have fetched him about 20 drums of liquor, enough returns on a US$10,000…

Liberia: Denied for Decades, Women Lead Land Rights Campaign in Bong

GOKAI TOWN, BONG COUNTY – Gormah Mulbah and her five children were thrown out of their home last year after her husband died. Her late husband’s family was angry she refused to marry his younger brother. While she thought all hope was lost, a man—whose identify she would not reveal over reprisal—confronted her in-laws over the…

Liberia: Villagers Hold Vigil outside Forestry Development Authority over Logging Dispute in Nimba

WHEIN TOWN, PAYNESVILLE – More than 60 townspeople of Doru chiefdom in the Gbi/Doru District of Nimba County spent the sixth straight night at the headquarters of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) here, demanding the cancellation of a logging contract between their community and the Liberia Tree and Trading Corporation (LTTC).  LTTC, owned by former Representative…

Illegal Sierra Leonean Miners Dying in Liberia

HENRY TOWN, Liberia and KENEMA, Sierra Leone – Ibrahim Sesay, a Sierra Leonean miner, never signed up to die when he crossed into Liberia in 2008 in search of greener pasture on mines in Korninga Chiefdom of Gbarpolu’s Bopolu District.    A New Narratives cross-border investigation by Mae Azango and Emma Black in Sierra Leone and…

Mining Companies Battle COVID-19 After The Ebola Crisis

Between 2014 and 2017, Sierra Leone was hit by the Ebola virus along with Guinea and Liberia. The disease killed almost 4,000 people in Sierra Leone but perhaps the worst of the crisis was the brutalization of the economy, especially in the extractive sector. In March 2020, Sierra Leone recorded its first confirmed case of…

How Covid 19 Protections are Impacting Mining in Sierra Leone

On 31 March 2020, when Sierra Leone recorded its first case of COVID-19, the Government instituted measures to prevent the transmission of the virus. Many of these preventative measures are based on the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. These measures have greatly impacted the lives of every…

Falling Global Oil Prices has Big Impact on Liberians

The price of oil has fallen sharply around the world in the last year. That’s forced major companies like Chevron and Exxon Mobil, that were pouring millions into Liberia, to hold back and watch the global trend in the oil market. Despite their initial investment in the country, Chevron has pulled out for now and…

Oil Industry Chaos: Liberians Benefit From Low Oil Prices

Monrovia – The plunge in oil prices on the world market has dealt a devastating blow to Liberia’s oil industry dashing hopes that oil may have been the savior for Liberia’s struggling economy. But at the same time those low prices have been an expected boost to ordinary Liberians thanks to the sharply lower price…

Exxon Set to Drill – Are Liberians Ready For Jobs in Oil Industry?

Monrovia – Liberia’s oil industry is holding its breath waiting for the outcome of ExxonMobil exploration efforts by the end of the year. With global oil prices low, and little interest by big oil companies in Liberia’s yet unproven oil reserves, Exxon’s drilling operation may represent Liberia’s last chance of discovering oil for some time….

Passage of New Oil Law Offers Hope of Industry Restart

Monrovia – In this last of a three-part series on the survival of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) amid financial turmoil and the global oil crisis, we ask whether the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Law could save Liberia’s oil and gas sector from further decay. The recent passage of the Petroleum (Exploration and…

Climate Change Threatens Liberia

  With a global reliance on fossil fuel for energy, climate change is increasingly becoming a threat to human existence. Across the world catastrophic weather patterns are killing people and devastating agricultural activities. In our own region, one of the biggest inland water sources – Lake Chad – has almost disappeared. Drought and floods have…

NOCAL Slashes Costs To Survive As Income Dries Up

Monrovia – In this second of a three-part series on the survival of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) amid financial turmoil and the oil crisis we look closely at how the company is operating in these difficult times. NOCAL is cash-strapped and is no longer leading the promising Liberian oil and gas sector…

NOCAL Collapses One Year On – Liberia’s Oil Basin Goes Quiet

Monrovia – In this first part of three-part series on we look at what is currently happening in the Liberian oil basin one year on from the collapse of the National Oil Company of Liberia. What is the status of the different oil contracts between Liberia and oil companies and what does the future hold…

Liberians’ Health: Generators, Cars Posing Dangers to Residents

Monrovia – On June 19 this year, two men—Varnie Sarjue and Jusue Vannie – spent the night in the office of GMT Fishery in the Bong Mines Bridge community outside Monrovia. Both men were guarding the company’s properties, and on that fateful night Sarjue brought with him his girlfriend, Garmeh Howard. They put on a…

Politics and Oil

Liberia’s third post conflict democratic elections are expected to be held in 2017 to   usher   in another government when the mandate of the   current government’s second and final term expires. This will mark the country’s first democratic transition in more than forty years. Already, the United Nations Mission in Liberia or UNMIL has turned over the…

Total Gas Stations Threaten Protected Wetlands

As the rest of the world struggles to come to terms with the effect of climate change, the poorest countries, like our own, are on the front lines. Scientists say the vast majority of climate change is caused by richer countries like the US and China, far out of our control.  But an investigation by…