A series of meetings held in Zondo Town with representatives of communities concerning the future expansion of the Liberia Agricultural Company (LAC) was held consistent with the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) process in Grand Bassa County.
Tiswen Synyenlentu, Program Officer for Land Administration at the Land Commission, said the meetings were held at the Korkor David Public School in Korkor David Town, Neesun Chiefdom, Doegbahn Administration in District 4.
According to Synyenlentu, the discussions for LAC to acquire an additional 27,400 hectares of land was done with cordiality, adding that the people represented and understood their rights to approve or reject proposed actions or projects that may affect them, their lands, territories and resources.
Mr. Synyenlentu, who headed the delegation to the discussions, said contrary to an earlier report in the Daily Observer that the meeting was rejected, Zondo Town representative Isaac Gborway, among others, recommended that “our people must be empowered by LAC to be able to sell our rubber to the company to generate income for ourselves.”
Synyenlentu said Gboray’s recommendations were accepted and the town was applauded for its contribution to the initial discussions that could eventually become part of the evolving decisions contained in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) provided to the communities involved for their review.
He said the meetings were planned from December 12-18 by the Land Commission (LC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, National Investment Commission and other land stakeholders.
“We conducted mobilization and sensitization activities consistent with the free, prior, and informed consent process,” he said in an interview recently.
He said communities that sent representatives to their various meetings included Philip Town, Coconut Plantation, Gaga Bli, Baboon Camp, Yorcee Town and Deh-dyu-gar Town. Other communities are Dro, Joseph Charlie Town, David Foko Town, Willie Town, Bee Town, Smith, Joe Town and Deh Sua Town. Gaye Town, Bahn Town, Vue Town, Korkor David Town, and surrounding towns and villages situated on the Slo and Timbo Rivers were also represented. “These are the areas that the LAC development operation will be implemented in Neesun Chiefdom, Doegbahn Administrative District #4,” he said.
Other meetings were held in the auditorium of Ginda Elementary & Junior High School in Zondo Town, District 4, with representatives from Kweayah Town, Won, Wru, Changbakon, Kpa-Wra-duan, Budywagar, Monfleen, Barlinger, Dbarpa, Pii, Gbor and Williams Town.
The Liberian Observer, Omari Jackson