Grand Kru County, Liberia – Citizens of Po-River Chiefdom and Golden Veroleum Liberia on Friday, 22 Aug 2014, signed a provisional memorandum of understanding and social agreement in Grand Kru County at the bank of the Trehn River. By affixing their signatures and thumbprints to the agreement, the citizens officially signified their desire to build development in their areas. The MOU allocates more than 3,000 acres for oil palm development.
In accordance with the signed MOU, GVL began construction of a seven kilometer roadway, connecting Garraway with Po-River. Following completion of the roadway the company has agreed to provide, on a multi-year timeframe, additional construction and rehabilitation projects, along with long-term employment opportunities from the local area.
Speaking during the ceremony, Grand Kru County Superintendent Elizabeth N. Dempster began by thanking God for the economic impact GVL is having on the region and the creation of employment opportunities in areas, which have not seen growth since the birth of the republic. “We appreciate GVL for accepting the challenge to work here. I personally wish to thank our Po-River citizens also for having the vision to improve livelihoods, because we know that GVL will not be able to do this alone.”
Earlier, Trehn Statutory District Superintendent Amagie Siaka said there is a history of collective effort for this historic signing ceremony. “We have been intensely negotiating to get this development going. “Now that GVL is here, the long suffering of our people has come to an end.”
Grand Kru Civil Society Chair, Dorris Ylotun and Po-River women’s leader, Theresa Jayenneh lauded GVL entry into the Chiefdom. They offered prayers for the cordial working relationship and fulfillment the agreement which will now improve their lives.
Grand Kru County Agriculture Coordinator, Benjamin Bedell, described the company’s entry into Po-River as a dream come true. “This is because no NGO has ever accepted to undertake large-scale agricultural projects here, despite several efforts. Their reason has always been a ‘big book word’ called, inaccessibility of the area. So, when we appealed to GVL to extend Oil Palm development here, they agreed, they have come, and we are glad.”
In a rather brief overview of the MOU, GVL Senior Manager for Community Affairs and Social Sustainability, Ofori Lartey said under the MOU, GVL would provide approximately 200 jobs for citizens of the area. He added an additional approximate 600 acres would be allocated for a community oil palm and out-grower program.
Prior to the signing GVL Safety Officer, Amelia Wrobeh, presented an Ebola awareness and prevention message to the attendees. Over the past several weeks GVL Community Affairs and Communications teams have delivered similar briefing to communities surrounding its farm operational sites in an effort to curb the spread of the dreaded disease.