Citizens of Kokoyah Statutory District in Bong County appear to be overwhelmed by frustration over the alleged failure of the America –Liberia Mineral Company (AMLIB) to provide basic social services to their community since the arrival of the company for exploration in the region almost ten years ago.
At a recent mass citizens meeting held in Botota, the Statutory District headquarters , the citizens submitted a petition to the county leadership, through the office of Superintendent Rannie Jackson requesting the mineral company to put an immediate halt to its operations in the region until their concerns were properly addressed.
The citizens in their petition accused the AMLIB of nothing to impact their lives positively, despite the protracted period the company has operated in the district and their unachievable plan presented to the citizens a few years back.
The citizens at the well attended development forum, pointed out key development projects earmarked by them for possible intervention, basically in the areas of health, agriculture, education and road rehabilitation, that are yet to be realized since the mineral company arrived in the region.
The petitioners also raised the issue of not feeling the impact of the county social development fund, noting that their twenty percent share of the Arcelor Mittal Social development of Bong was not forth coming as a community directly affected by the operations of the steel giant.
Addressing the citizens’ concerns at the Botota Development forum, AMLIB General Manager Roosevelt K. Forh, for the first time, disclosed to the citizens that his company has been restructuring its activities, and has now established a corporate social responsibility unit to carry out strategic intervention planning in the areas of education and road rehabilitation.
The AMLIB boss further disclosed that his company has already made a provision of seventy five thousand United States Dollars (US$ 75,000.00) for the construction of two elementary schools in the operational areas of the company.
Saywehn and Dean Towns are two communities directly affected by the company’s operations earmarked to benefit from the school project.
Commenting on Water and Sanitation, the AMLIB head also disclosed that the mineral agency would infused additional ten thousand United States Dollars towards the construction of bold hole wells.
According to Forh, the company’s activities has been at a slow pace due to the global financial difficulties, which also affected the operations of the company despite an initial capital of over 26 million united states dollars investment.
Also making clarification on the Bong County Development fund, the Assistant Superintendent for Development in Bong County, Lucia Helbert told the gathering the county’s leadership was already undertaking two projects in the district with funds coming from the county development fund.
She admitted that the rubber farm and town hall projects were stalled due to the lack of funds, but the process would recommence shortly. The projects are in the tone of sixty thousand United States dollars.