A group of students from Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties are calling on citizens in those areas to ‘love & cherish’ Sime Darby Plantation in Liberia (SDPL) for the numerous interventions it continues to have on their lives.
The students who are beneficiaries of the company’s scholarship scheme said the coming of the company in their counties is a gift that must be love and cherished. The call of the students comes in the wake of several threats from aggrieved citizens in the project affected communities (PAC) toward the company.
According to the students, there are lots of development initiatives that the company had undertaken for the people in those communities, but go unnoticed by the beneficiaries. They named some of the development projects by the company as the construction of schools, clinics, and hand pumps, rehabilitation of roads, and security among others that continue to elevate the livelihoods of the citizens in the concession areas.
Others are the creation of jobs, access to free medical cares, education, community outreach by the company, identification by the company in time of good or bad among others. The Sime Darby Plantation Scholarship Students Union through their president Adama Seh appealed that whatsoever grievances, it should be channeled properly in order to bring amicable solution.
Seh further indicated that any action on the contrary has the proclivity to derail the goodwill gestures of the company to the people in that part of the country. “The project affected communities are demonstrating. In Gawula district, there is a newly built school for the people, if you come to Matamoore, there is a place in the same PAC area and you have a junior high school and estate built. There are lots of things that our people are not informed about. My family members now know I am on a scholarship from the company,” he said.
The student disclosed that they are fully aware of Article 8 of the agreement between the Liberian Government and the management of Sime Darby.
“It says those people who are from that region should be given the opportunity for job. After our graduation we will join the large numbers of our brothers and sisters who are already working with the company. It gives us the means of serving our people,” he added.
“Indeed, SDPL is doing good things for us and if for any reason, somebody had bad feelings about the company, channel your grievances in a proper manner. We have an investigative committee setup to intervene and we must respect them. We have to ensure that SDPL goes to its plan for the betterment of our communities. We need amicable resolution,” he concluded.