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…

Omega Land Crisis: Evicted Residents Mount Pressure for Resettlement

For 16 years Augustus Sibley has been proud of the small lot he managed to buy here in 2006 in the Paynesville area on the outskirts of Monrovia, and the three-bedroom house he built for himself and his family. But today the plot is a source of pain for the 62-year-old who says the government…

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…

 Women Farmers Made Destitute by Pandemic

MONROVIA – Weatta Gbelly has seen hardship in her 35 years but nothing prepared her for the Covid-19 pandemic. Ms. Gbelly has never had the virus, neither does she know anyone who has, but she has suffered just the same. By Mae Azango, Senior Land Rights Correspondent with New Narratives Ms. Gbelly is a mother of…

Land Rights Authority Overwhelmed by Customary Land Disputes

In Bong County in central two neighboring towns, Gbongea and Gbonota are entangled in a long standing land dispute that is threatening to erupt in violence.The dispute pits traditional land title practices used across the country against modern efforts to reform Liberia’s land ownership laws. The 2018 Land Rights Act was supposed to give communities…

Overwhelmed Doctors at StarBase Treatment Unit Plead with People to Believe the Covid-19 is Real

BUSHROD ISLAND – Liberians are facing the latest and most dangerous wave since the Covid-19 pandemic started 15 months ago. This latest wave, caused by the highly infectious Delta variant which entered the country a month ago, has taken dozens of lives including journalists and high-profile personalities. By Mae Azango with New Narratives [email protected] As of July…

Drowning in Plastic Pollution

This story was a collaboration with New Narratives as part of the Climate Change and Land Rights Reporting Project. Funding was provided by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office and the American Jewish World Service….

Urgency in Liberia’s West Point As Sea Swallows Homes

For more than a decade coastal erosion has devastated the lives of people in Liberia’s nine coastal counties. 10,000 people have had to move. Livelihoods of those who depend on the sea have been upended.The government, along with the United Nations Development Program, has been building a series of coastal defences – to hold back…

Can the Coastal Defense Project Save West Point?

“The sea was coming closer but we were thinking that it was not serious. But in less than two to three months the sea wiped away the entire house,” he recalled on a recent visit to the site with reporters. “Other houses that were in front of us – we had about 200 to 300…

Grand Bassa Community Forest That Chose Conservation Battles Hardship

BARCONNIE AND HARMONVILLE COMMUNITY FOREST, Grand Bassa County – Powerful forces push the people of the 21 towns that make up this community forest area to abandon their efforts at conservation every day. Big money offered by foreign and local business people, amidst hardship, tempts them from their path. But the people say one thing is keeping them…

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. With poor or limited waste management systems, many communities in Monrovia and…

As Climate Change Hits, Farmers Find Success in Lowland Farming

Few rural farmers will have borne more hardship than Augustine Moore.  Beginning in the 1980s, he moved from Lofa to Bong counties and eventually here to Margibi to escape the war and consistent poor harvests. Finally he gave up. “My labor was going in vain. The farm’s yields were very low and could not sustain…

Farmers Say Food Crisis is Looming from Climate Change

The impacts of climate change are no longer possible to ignore. Wildfires in California and Australia; devastating flooding in Asia, make headlines every day. Rich countries battle over plans to solve it.Meanwhile poor countries like Liberia are on the frontlines, facing rise sea levels, higher temperatures, more extreme weather that are threatening people’s health and…

Is Climate Change the Biggest Crisis Facing Liberia?

The changing climate is grabbing headlines across the globe. Bushfires in California and Australia, floods in Asia, heatwaves in Europe.The same forces are ravaging Africa – including Liberia – threatening food security and collapse of our agriculture industry and the displacement of millions of people as sea levels rise. After the global COP 26 Climate…