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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Liberia: STAND Deploys Social Workers to Trace Factors Behind Kinjor’s Unrest

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By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor

Civil Society group Movement-STAND has deployed 24 social workers in gold mining communities in Western Grand Cape Mount County to identify root causes of disharmony and violence between the locals and the concessionaires.

STAND’s fieldworkers will engage community dwellers to understand their perspectives on Turkish gold miners Bea Mountain in the context of the company’s corporate social responsibility and adherence to other contractual obligations like the environment.

Investigators will interview eyewitnesses regarding instances of police brutality during recent peaceful protests that resulted in multiple deaths.

Preliminary findings point to evidence of distressing situation, the group said.

“As STAND diligently prepares a comprehensive report for public consumption, we find it imperative to express our gratitude to the leadership, elders, and residents of Kinjor for their warm hospitality and patience,” Mulbah Morlu who heads the group told reporters Saturday in Cape Mount.

“Through dialogues such as the town hall meeting, we deepen our understanding of the community’s concerns and grievances. These expressed concerns have positioned us to advocate and collaborate with others in supporting the residents of Kinjor”.

Villagers narrated to reporters how the company’s operation has adversely impacted their environment and livelihood.

“We are living in hell and it looks like our government does not care for us,” said Garsenee Davis who had resigned from the company over claims of poor labor practices.

People like Mary Yakollie lives in this community where they rely on the nearby forest and streams for livelihood. But now the waterways are polluted.

“We cannot go fishing and drink from our creeks and rivers anymore because the gold mining operations have contaminated those rivers,” she said.

“They have failed to provide safe drinking water as promised in the agreement signed between us and the management.”

The company communication officer contacted declined to comment.

The Movement-STAND, abbreviated for Solidarity and Trust for a New Day, is a civil society organization based in Liberia. Its primary objective is to address abuse and economic marginalization, champion equity and the rule of law, and take the lead in efforts to eradicate impunity across Liberia and the broader West African sub region.

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