women group appeal to president
At a well-attended meeting held in Sinjeh town, Bomi County on Monday, rural women group, represented by their leader appealed to the government to help beef up security at, Gba Jekeh, especially to the place where criminals have taken to be their hide out. They said if this is not done, the company will continue to experience destruction from criminal in the areas.
In recent times, a number of unknown persons have set on fire Sime Darby plantation. Part of Gha Jekeh is occupied by many ex-combatants who have refused to vacate the premises from the time of BF Goodridge. When Sime Darby took over the place years back, government sent a team of riot police officers to vacate the ex-combatants from the plantation. Some left, while others remained. It is estimated to be over two thousand ex-combatants.
This, the women group said is one of the problems affecting the company. Some of these destructions are done by many of those people. Madam Mary G. Varney, the president of Rural women in Bomi County said the actions by the alleged perpetrators will make their children who are benefiting from the company to suffer seriously.
“Let the government quickly come in to help. We are begging the government through the president find solution before our foreign partners start to run away from us,” she noted. She said it was important for government to do all it can to get the illegal squatters out of the company’s properties so as to avoid future disturbances.
“We are appealing to our president, Ma Elllen to please come to help. They should send security to this place. Too many criminals are occupying the properties of Sime Darby,” she said. She said, the presence of Sime Darby was a great help to the people of both Grand Cape Mount and Bomi counties.
Sime Darby provides medical services to its employees and their families as well as other locals in the area. The meeting followed last week’s destruction which led to the burning of company’s facilities after they said a lady went missing. The lady, Kumba Fallah, who went for treatment at the health center of the company was discharged.
When she was not seen by relatives and friends, they accused the company of not discharging her. After search by both the police and local security, she was found with a ‘friend’ in one of the camps. A total of 113 hectares of palm were completely burnt down by the angry demonstrators who went ahead setting the large palm farms at ablaze.
At its Bomi County estate, the total of 80 hectares of palm were destroyed which totaled 13,032 palm trees. In Grand Cape Mount County estate, 25 hectares were destroyed, totaling 3902 palm trees and at its Lofa estate, 8 hectares of palm or 1440 palm trees were completely destroyed.
The cost of the damaged is not know, yet, but local it is said to be over several millions United States Dollars. Speaking to reporters, the Estate Manager of Bomi County, Augustine S. Allie lamented that the damaged done on the farm is hard to accept taking into consideration what the company has invested over the years.-Press release