VOINJAMA, (LINA) – A local advocacy group says over 200 Ghanaians and Chinese are engaged in illicit mining activities in New Kpayarkolleh Town, Salayea District in Lofa County.
The Director of Agent for Change and Transformation Liberia, Mr. James Wolobah, said during a recent three-day visit to Salayea District, the group observed that scores of Ghanaians and Chinese are mining gold and diamond without the authorization of local stakeholders and officials of the district.
He said the group is therefore mounting pressure on authorities to investigate the allegation of illegal mining to safeguard the resources of the county.
Wolobah said reports of illicit mining activities in Salayea District needs the urgent attention of both central government and local authorities in the district and county.
He also pointed out that if the livelihood of the citizens, especially the young people who continue to complain about unemployment and poor living standard must be improved then there is a need for relevant authorities to put a halt to the illicit mining activities.
Wolobah observed that illicit mining activities by foreigners have become a nationwide issue, noting that Lofa County authorities must be proactive in curtailing illicit mining in the county.
When contacted, Salayea District Commissioner Ben Gorlema said illegal mining has been taking place in Zealakpala and Fassama but could not confirm whether illicit mining activities are currently taking place in Kpayarkolleh Town in the district.
Gorlema said a thorough investigation needs to be conducted into the alleged illicit mining by the tens of aliens in the district as reported by the Agent for Change and Transformation Liberia.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Gorlema is cautioning the advocacy group to “go beyond mere speculation and verify” the investigation, as local authorities too are investigating the credibility of the allegation.