The Management of Sime Darby Plantation Liberia increases hand pumps in its estates, constructs laboratories at its high school and improves health facilities for both workers and citizens.
The development is in compliance with recommendations by a recent legislative delegation which toured the plantation and saw the poor state of facilities there.
Management has constructed 35 hand pumps in all four Matamba Estates and across the plantation, enabling residents to have easy access to safe drinking water.
At the Sime Darby Central High School in Senjeh District, Grand Cape Mount County, two new science laboratories (Physics/Chemistry) have been constructed for the 2018/2019 academic year.
Principal Vaikai M. Gray explains the Sime Darby School System contains a total of seven schools, including four elementary schools, two junior high schools and one secondary school. Both the elementary and junior high divisions serve as feeder schools for the senior high level.
Principal Gray discloses that as of last Thursday, 31 August the high school had registered a total of 887 students, adding that last year’s enrolment was 1070.
He says the entire school system has an enrolment of over 7,000 students with 120 teachers, 22 of them with BSc degrees.
However, despite efforts to improve facilities at the plantation, the SDPL Management faces a serious challenge of theft, losing its palm crops to criminals.
One particular incident that led to members of the House sending a delegation to the plantation involved a video recording posted online, capturing a suspected criminal with a stolen palm bunch on his head being assaulted by company security and citizens which went viral.
The latest incident occurred on 27 July 2018 when criminals armed with cutlasses attacked a Sime Darby security officer Tamba Anthony while patrolling Block 2011 ‘A’ in the palm plantation at night.
“They came to me with cutlasses, demanding release of their colleagues”, he narrates while lying in his hospital bed with his left hand in cast and bruises on his body.
Tamba explains he had arrested a suspect in the plantation when the accomplices moved on him with cutlasses. “They chopped me twice on my hand with the cutlass.”
The Administrator of the Sime Darby Health Center Ms. Felicia Alie discloses that 95 percent of recommendations put forth by the delegation from the House of Representatives are being implemented.
She names laboratory and air conditioner, which according to her are to be installed in the next two weeks.Ms. Alie discloses that the most prevalent disease at the center is Malaria besides Sexually Transmitted Infections, pneumonia, among others.
She says health services up to 2010 were free of charge, but in March 2018 management introduced a new policy, restricting services to employees and emergency cases only.
–Story by Jonathan Browne