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,…

New Farming Approach is Luring Farmers Out of the Forest

As the changing climate impacts more and more people worldwide, there are renewed efforts to protect the planet’s forests. Trees soak up the carbon that is the worst factor in causing climate change. Liberia’s forest is one of the largest remaining. But millions of Liberians rely on the forest’s bounty for their survival. As the…

Monrovia and Paynesville are Drowning in Plastic; One Company Tries to Help

MONROVIA – Waste plastic is becoming a scourge around the world but it is especially true here in Liberia’s capital city and its satellite sister, Paynesville. Discarded plastic is choking waterways, blocking drains, killing fish, and leaching harmful chemicals into the water and soil. By Tina S. Mehnpaine, with New Narratives With poor or limited waste management…

How the Government Silenced Accountability in Runup to Election

Three months after the government raced an act through the Legislature overhauling the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, Liberia’s independent corruption watchdog has almost ceased functioning, all but ending scrutiny of government corruption in the runup to next year’s election. A source inside the Commission, who requested anonymity for fear of losing their job, said prosecutions have…

One Year Since President Weah Declared Rape a National Emergency Activists Say Nothing Has Changed

President Weah promised to set up a special committee to look into sexual and gender-based crimes. He promised a special prosecutor to handle rape cases, a national sex offender registry, and a national security task force to handle sexual and gender-based violence. The president said he had allocated $US2m in emergency funding to the problem.

But a year on, nothing has been heard of the committee or government plans to address the problem. Activists are bitterly disappointed….

Moses Thomas found responsible in US court

It was one of the most shocking events of the Liberian civil war. In April 1900 troops with then-President Samuel Doe’s Special Anti-Terrorist Unit shot and hacked to death 600 people including babies taking refuge in Monrovia’s St Peters Lutheran Church. Images of the carnage were broadcast around the world. The massacre kicked off a…

LGBTQ+ Liberian Fired From High Profile US Job

One of the most high-profile Liberians in the United States has lost his job after being caught up in the sexual harassment scandal that took down New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Alphonso David, 50, was the head of the Human Rights Campaign, the most powerful group lobbying for the rights of LGBTQ Americans, until last…

Snail Farming: Cheap, Nutritious and Forest-friendly

Snails are highly nutritious according to experts. They are rich in calcium, a mineral associated with healthy bones and teeth. No one knows when the people of Liberia began eating snails. The nutritious mollusk found growing wild in forests and swamps, has been in the diet for as long as anyone could remember.  But before…

Will Liberia Finally Ban Female Genital Cutting?

Listen here: Liberia is one of just three West African nations where female genital cutting is legal. New Narratives’ Evelyn Kpadeh Seagbeh finds strong resistance to the bill from traditional leaders and little political will to challenge them. At the same time membership of traditional societies is plummeting.This story was a collaboration with Ok FM…

A New Bill to Ban Female Genital Cutting Looks Set for Defeat Even as Liberians Abandon the Practice

Liberia is one of just three West African nations where female genital cutting is legal. In this two-part series with New Narratives Evelyn Kpadeh Seagbeh finds strong resistance to the bill from traditional leaders and little political will to challenge them. At the same time Sande’s membership is plummeting. MOUNT BARCLAY, Montserrado – 18-year-old Dearest is one…

Fishing Industry Offers Big Opportunities but Challenges Linger

By Nemenlah Cyrus Harmon with New Narratives WEST POINT BEACH, Monrovia – Food is getting scarcer in Liberia. People can feel it every day in rice shortages at the market and higher prices. The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have played a role but the biggest factor is climate change and it’s only going to…

FGM Bush Schools Still Operational Despite Three-Year Moratorium

GARPUE TOWN, Grand Bassa County – Schools are now open in Liberia, but 14-year-old Tutugirl has not joined her classmates. Tutugirl says it has been impossible since she returned injured and traumatized from the “bush school” where she and her friends were forcefully taken after they were kidnapped from this town in September. While she…

Liberia gets Tough on Human Trafficking with Amended Law

In part three of this three-part series Anthony Stephens looks at the Liberian government’s efforts to get tough on human trafficking. In September 2021 the Liberian government sent a signal it was getting tough on human trafficking. The Legislature passed a revision to a 2005 law increasing the prison sentence for anyone found guilty of…