The Dedicated Fund Committee or DFC secretariat, which is charged with the responsibility of managing the social development funds of Bong, Nimba, and Grand Bassa counties under the mineral development agreement has concluded a one-day tour of projects being implemented in Bong County under the program.
The head of the DFC secretariat Mrs. Gbeme Horace Kollie, told this paper in Gbarnga that the tour was necessary to obtain relevant firsthand information about the implementation of various projects directly from the field.
She said this is part of effort to guarantee that projects earmarked for the various communities directly affected by the operations of these concessional companies realize their benefits in keeping with the corporate social responsibilities of those companies as enshrined in the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) signed with the Liberian government.
The Mineral Development Agreement calls for the provision of basic social service benefits to counties affected by concessional operations. The DFC secretariat head expressed delight over progress being made in the implementation of several projects in Bong County, which she noted will impact inhabitants greatly.
Commenting on the construction of a US$4 million community college in Gbarnga under the social development, Madam Kollie emphasized it will immensely contribute to the human resource development of the county in the not distant future.
During the tour of Bong, the DFC secretariat visited several project sites in the county, including a major bridge construction project in Kpai District # 1 of the affected regions of Acelor Mittal’s operations there and the ongoing expansion project of the Nyankor Bee Junior High School to a high school in the district.
Currently, there are several projects being implemented in Bong County directly funded by the social development funds from Acelor Mittal, China Union and BPH Billiton, respectively.
They include the Dolokelen Gboveh Community College, construction of the Sanoyea and Palala high schools, rehabilitation of all feeder roads in Bong Mines, Fuama District, construction of the Melenta Bridge and the provision of scholarships to over 400 students at the Cuttington University in Suakoko as part of the county’s human resource development initiative.
Meanwhile, the DFC head of secretariat has disclosed that as part of ongoing reform process in the management of the social development fund, the County Development Management Committee (CDMC), which was dominated by policymakers, will now be expanded to bring onboard other stakeholders at the county level.
Madam Kollie said the new measure was instituted to ensure broad participation of every sector in determining the development priorities of the county by using the bottom-to top approach in the projects implementation.
The new members of the CDMC will include representatives of civil society organizations, women groups, the office of the county development officer under the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Gender and Development, including a youth representative.