Home NewsLiberia EU Head of Delegation, Four Ambassadors Conclude Field Visit to Logging Communities in Grand Bassa County

EU Head of Delegation, Four Ambassadors Conclude Field Visit to Logging Communities in Grand Bassa County

by Fabine W. Kwiah

GRAND BASSA COUNTY, LIBERIA-EU Head of Delegation and four Ambassadors from France, Sweden, Ireland and Germany have concluded a one-day field visit to two separate communities in Grand Bassa County.

The visit is intended to access the benefits of logging communities in the County.

The field visit covered WAFDI Forest Camp, Gbeegban, Central Morweh and Kisvan and Central Morweh Communities.

At WAFDI, the Secretary General of Gbeegban Community, Larry Tunning, told the delegation that since the documents were signed, some projects are yet to be completed, thus stalling benefits of those communities.

Mr. Tunning named farm to market roads, schools, hospitals, pumps and latrines as projects to be completed.

He accused the Company of bad labor practice, and that locals have no idea of logs leaving a town with over ten-thousand inhabitants, adding that the contract with the Company be revisited.

But in reaction, the Manager of WAFDI Company, Gualberto Oji Wardi, said:” As it relates to farming, the Company has no right to stop locals from farming but agreed the forest be reserved.”

Mr. Wardi said:” Though there are challenges, but there are also constraints as the local market for logs have dropped drastically in Liberia, and especially owing to illegal pit sawing that is visible.”

He said since the onset of the Ebola pandemic, coupled with COVID-19, logging companies continued to face difficulties with China trade.

For his part, FDA Deputy Manager for Operations, Joseph Tally, thanked the EU Delegation and admitted to illegal timber trade, but said Liberia has reassured its commitment to combating illegal logging in pursuit of climate financing, at the Forest and Climate Forum in February, this year.

At the close of the Ambassadors’ mission, EU Head of Delegation, Laurent Delahousse, said:” We are on a fact finding mission and not a trial, and that it was important to hear from the communities, beneficiaries and all stakeholders.”

The EU Head of Delegation then encouraged all hands on deck to work on conservation programs that will generate more money.

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