Bomi County Youth Group Craves For Sime Darby’s Plantation Expansion

 (L-R)- SandoKawah and G. Rhyme Vincent
(L-R)- SandoKawah and G. Rhyme Vincent

A Youth group as well as some youth activists from Bomi County is appealing to Sime Darby Plantation to extend its operation in their county. They said the appeal is based on the numerous development the company has embarked on in Cape Mount County.

 They said despite the concession agreement signed with the government in 2009, SDPL has only been operating in  Cape Mount  with small portion in Bomi countyand it was now time for them to expand to their county.

Sime Darby Liberia Plantation Site
Sime Darby Liberia Plantation Site

 “We want to taste the development too.  Our people here need jobs and they need to enjoy the same benefits being enjoyed by   people in Cape Mount County.   For us in Bomi, we cherish development and we are peace loving people,” G. Rhyme Vincent youth Activist   told a   team of reporters on Monday

Bomi County is one of the largest concession areas next to Gbarpolu county and Bong. But since SDPL came, it has started operation in Cape Mount County.

But the company   is already planning to expand to lower and upper Togay, Senjeh District.  The company On July 25th 2015, SDPL paid crop compensation to Senjeh Farmers planted crop inside the old BF Goodrich concession now inherited by SDPL.

In addition to that, SDPL has planned to construct one lane bridge across Mahe River to connect SDPL current operation area to Senjeh District and may move towards Gborpolu area where SDPL concession area is the largest in Liberia. It can be recalled that recently, youth group from Clay district commended the company for embarking on developments in Cape Mount County.

Recently,   a delegation from Gbarpolu visited the plantation and also requested the company to extend its operations in their county.

The company  has set up an oil palm  that  will enable  it to process the  raw materials in Liberia and also  sell  on local  market. But recently some workers from SDPL in Cape Mount embarked on a go slow strike in demandfor  extrain crop compensation.

The company in 2010-2011 made payment to  those in projected affected Areas(PAC). All parties agreed to the rate to be paid. Following the payment to other communities, the residents protested that they wanted an increase as well.

SDPL signed the concession agreement with the Government of Liberia in 2009 whereby Gborpolu is the largest and followed  by Bong and Bomi and the smallest area is in GCM County.

Bomi Youth in not the only group asking SDPL to extend its activities. Recently, Some residents from  Gorblah Clan  also had meeting with SDPL management for land development but now waiting for the completion of the High Carbon Stock study to be completed soon before SDPL could identify the suitable areas.

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About Cholo Brooks 14331 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.