According to Roosevelt Wleh, Manager of Community Affairs and Social Sustainability at Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL), the road project gives the community hope and puts an end to walking to the community from nearby communities and Sinoe County’s capital Greenville. Mr. Wleh said the move also seeks to give free movement of possessions and amenities into the community.
“We believed giving road access to these communities and several others we have worked and continue to work with gives them significant benefits of the road as it gives freedom of movement so they now have the opportunity to build and transport housing materials, convey food and goods for sale in their communities. It also helps reduce prices of goods in these communities. This empowers them economically. GVL will continue to help these communities and the communities we are discussing working with in the near future,” said Wleh.
Mr. Wleh also said GVL is considering helping other communities in this area gain road access to help them access markets and gain other benefits.
According to GVL Communications Coordinator, Leroy Kanmoh, since the beginning of the dry season, GVL has rehabilitated and constructed at least 150 kilometers of feeder roads in Sinoe and Grand Kru counties. “GVL has always supported its partner communities and have worked closely with them to support economic development through road construction to promote the free flow of goods and services” says Kanmoh.
Residents of the Worbah Community, backed by Jacob Kofa, paramount chiefdom of Matron Chiefdom, praised GVL for the road project. The citizens in general appreciated the efforts of GVL to rehabilitate their road which would bring relief to them and help to transport their farm produce to the market.
At the same time, the oil palm giant has recommitted to Liberia and to staying here for the long term. The current global market environment is at a low price point in the commodity cycle and Liberia itself today presents a challenging environment of comparatively high costs, uncertainties, and slow development of infrastructure and important regulations. Currently, GVL appears be the largest oil palm company and the only agriculture investor actively expanding in Liberia. The company has around 3,800 Liberian workers and management in Sinoe and Grand Kru, and operates in compliance with its concession agreement, legislation, Liberian and international regulations and community agreements. GVL expects to start palm oil production this year and continues to expand oil palm cultivation with communities. In a new phase, GVL looks forward to new Government regulation on out-grower and smallholder oil palm, in order to expand community partnerships.