Henry Town, Gbarpolu County – Coveiyallah Investment Enterprise (CIE) has begun rehabilitation works on the Bopolu-Belle Fassama road leading to the concession area of Korninga Chiefdom.
The Chief Officer of the Korninga ‘A’ Community Forest in Bopolu District, Johnson B. Flomo made the disclosure to LocalVoicesLiberia in Gaikpai Town.
On April 25, 2019, Korninga ‘A’ Community Forest Management Body (CFMB) signed 14 years third party logging agreement with CIE in Henry Town. The concession covers 48,298 hectares of Land in Gbarpolu electoral district one.
The agreement outlines road rehabilitation, construction of paramount chief’s resident in Tawalata Town in Bopolu District, payment of US1.50 per hectare annually as land rental fee out of which the affected communities will benefit 55% while the national government is to receive 45%. In addition, the company will contribute US15, 000.00 annually as scholarship funds.
Mr. Flomo has at the same time stated that “even though they have not sent money into our bank account, but they started the road works.”
He expressed optimism that now that coronavirus cases in Liberia has reduced, the workers are back and they will begin logging activities very soon in the district.
“The road rehabilitation came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, but now that the coronavirus sickness is slowdown in the country, they are on the road works again and very soon they will start logging and sawmill here,” he said
Johnson Flomo has pleaded with citizens and residents in the affected community to be patient as the Coveiyallah promised to settle their commitment to the community, attributing the delay to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the community forest said that their business partner has promised to settle their social obligation soon. He said, “we are calling on our people to be understanding, because our partner, Coveiyallah has told us that they will settle all their social commitments when they start operations after the coronavirus.”
He reminded the citizens that during the height of the coronavirus, the logging company gave the community some COVID-19 preventive materials which we need to thank them for.”
“We need to thank them as well because they helped us with some COVID-19 preventive materials: Like tie soap, chloral, and buckets with stickers marked with health messages on this virus,” he said.
For his part, the operation manager Coveiyallah Investment Enterprise, Mr. Varney Foboi said, “In reality, the coronavirus affected us to the point that we have not been able to settle our social obligations to the communities all because we are not doing active logging.”
According to him, the opening of the company’s Sawmill is even delaying due to the pandemic.
“Our equipment for the Sawmill is here. However, because the that supposed to install these sawmill machines are in China, so we just paused down temporarily due to the Coronavirus. He said, now that our Airport is opened, by the time we get good news from China about this virus, the engineers will arrive and set up the Sawmill equipment.”
He said that 80% of the logs that will be harvested will be processed in their sawmill that will be established in Gaikpai town, Gbarpolu County.
Meanwhile, community members in the affected communities in Korninga Chiefdom have welcomed the news of establishing a Sawmill.
Arthur Volo and George Nangba, prominent citizens and youth leader of the chiefdom believe that “when the Sawmill is set up, it would boost the morale of the investment, through job creation for both men and women in the affected areas and beyond.”
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