Liberia: Grand Cape Mount Superintendent Blames Bea Mountain For Poor living Condition of Locals
Robertsport – Grand Cape Mount County Superintendent Aaron Vincent says the living condition of vast majority of citizens in the county remain appalling despite the availability and extraction of millions of dollars’ worth of natural resources from the county.
Superintendent Vincent said for several decades citizens continue to reside in the midst of abundant resources but their living condition remains the same year after year.
He made specific reference to residents residing around the concession areas of Bea Mountain Mining Company in the county.
He made these assertions recently in an interview with FrontPageAfrica at a ground breaking ceremony held in the county recently.
In 2013, Bea Mountain Mining Company, previously Aureus Mining, signed a Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) with the Government of Liberia (GOL) to extract minerals from western Liberia.
According to Superintendent Vincent, the corporate social development fund owed the county by the company has not been fully settled for a prolong period of time.
“It is true that we have all of the natural resources but we are far behind when it comes to development. We can attribute that to the lack of unity or togetherness,” he said.
He pointed out that local authorities of the county will continue to engage authorities of the company to help improve the living condition of citizens within its concession areas.
“It is true that our people there are living in deplorable condition; they are in the darkness and they have been complaining about poor sanitary condition. But we will continue to engage them (company) because you can’t be extracting our resources, 24 hours you are running current and you can’t give the people lights”.
But responding to the Superintendent’s allegations, Henry Vincent, Bea Mountain Community Relations Manager, said the company is working with the county to impact the lives of locals in its project affected communities.
“The company has established the community development fund, which five members representative from the mine and five members from the county are part to control the follow of cash, which the mine will put in cash yearly for county development,” he said.
The Bea Mountain Community Relations Manager also said that the company is providing livelihoods opportunities for the project affected people by giving out micro loan program to five established groups, which he added is creating huge economic development for the people.
“The mine [company] has made arrangement with LBDI bank to provide more funding for the micro loan program at the end of coronavirus,” he said.
“The company is also trying to establish the African for the women of Kinjor Town and agriculture program as well as long and short term job for the affected communities.”
The mine has always identified with all its project affected communities by donating rice at all time and also support community initiatives, he said, adding that the company has made several donations to the county since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Superintendent has called on “sons and daughters hailing from Grand Cape Mount” to desist from tearing each other apart and live in harmony to move the county and Liberia at large forward.
He added that the county can only be developed if citizens, regardless of tribal or political affiliations, put aside their differences and unite
“We need to come together and build the unity that we need. Let’s forge ahead and build our county,” he said.
Grand Cape Mount which formed part of Liberia in 1856, constitutes the first-level of administrative division in the nation with five districts.
Robertsport which serves as its capital covers 5,162 square kilometres (1,993 sq mi).
As of the 2008 Census, the county had a population of 129,817, making it the eighth most populous county in Liberia.
It is bordered by Gbarpolu County to the northeast and Bomi County to the southeast. The northern part of Grand Cape Mount borders the nation of Sierra Leone, while to the west lies the Atlantic Ocean.
Despite being one of the original counties of Liberia, residents of Grand Cape Mount remain faced with numerous constraints including bad road condition, lack of access to adequate sanitation, pipe borne water, electricity, modernized public high schools and health facilities, among others.
The lack of job opportunities in the county has compelled most young people to engage into illegal mining and fishing activities, while struggling mothers have to plant crops, particularly cassava, and sell other produce to provide food for them and their respective family members.