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Bomi residents seek economic growth

Residents of Bomi County, inclusive of the local leadership, are craving for a positive impact in their daily lives, following the ground-breaking of the long-awaited Western Cluster.

Official ground-breaking ceremony ahead of the start of Western Cluster operation was held Wednesday, 8 June 2022 in Tubmanburg, Bomi County. 

The Western Cluster mineral development agreement (MDA) was obtained more than 10 years ago.

But several challenges including the Ebola virus outbreak and the drop in prices of iron affected the operation.

With the initial agreement seemingly stalled, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the government and the company.

The latest signing of that MOU certainly reopened the corridor for the company to start operations now officially.

With the ground-breaking, the company is now cleared to operate at three mine deposits in Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties.

However, residents of Bomi County where the first operation is expected, are craving a positive impact on their livelihoods. They want economic growth, employment opportunities and social benefits.

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Chief Moinamah Jah, Paramount Chief of Manuah Chiefdom, Senjeh District in Bomi County, in a traditional welcome, expressed heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Legislative caucuses of the three counties.

He also thanked the Government of Liberia as well as the management of Western Cluster for the decision reached to finally begin operation.

But he has given a caveat that the investment should bring changes in the lives of the people.

“We are very happy for Western Cluster to be here, but we want you to cater to the people of Bomi because this is where you are starting,” he said.

Bomi County Senator, Edwin Melvin Snowe, urged the company to work in the interest of the local people.

Snowe led the conversation for the finalization of the company’s operation.

“Please call on us whenever there is [a] problem and [do] not take laws into your own hands,” Senator Snowe said.

Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney G. Sherman also hoped that the company’s operations would make a difference in the lives of citizens so that the deal becomes a win-win situation.

“We thank God that all has worked well and hope that it will make a difference in the lives of our citizens here and country in general,” said Senator Sherman.

“We give our support to Western Cluster and we will equally ensure that you operate in a peaceful and enabling environment,” he added.

Senators Botoe Kanneh and Simeon Boimah Taylor of Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount Counties, respectively, expressed great delight over the pending operations of Western Cluster, but with similar pleas.

“There must be cooperation between the company and the people so that the operations here will continue so that the economy of the western belt will be improved,” said Senator Taylor.

The Chairman of the Bomi County Legislative Caucus, Senator Morris Saytuma, said the investment is of great importance to the people of Bomi and as such, it must be protected.

“This is your mine and this is [your] product and you must do all to keep the contract going … because we need stability. Without stability there can be no better output,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Mr. Gesler E. Murray, explained that the Western Cluster operations will cover 6.5 acres of land in Bomi County.

As demanded by the people, he assured that the investment will bring economic benefits to the three counties and the country at large.

He said Western Cluster will also contribute to the rehabilitation of key roads leading through Bushrod Island.

“It will bring job opportunities and will boost our revenue folder. The Minister noted that the mineral sector is the best sector to engender economic change for our country and we must place [a] premium on this sector,” the Minister noted.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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