Monrovia – Golden Veroleum (Liberia) Inc. (GVL) and the Government of Liberia in 2010 signed a Concession Agreement to develop palm oil plantations on 220,000 hectares of land in South-Eastern Liberia. Based on its development plan, GVL should have developed 80,000 hectares of oil palm by now, but to date only about 19,000 hectares have been developed due to unforeseen challenges including several stoppages because of complaints by some groups. Despite this, GVL remains committed to its goal of reducing rural poverty and bringing the beginnings of long-term prosperity, healthcare and education to communities where we operate and has not allowed its development shortfall to affect contributions to social and economic development of these communities.
In the ten years since it was established, GVL has signed MOUs with communities in Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties and has constructed and rehabilitated schools, roads, clinics, markets and other facilities for these communities. It has also rendered support to operate some of these facilities and provided scholarships for promising students. This is on top of employment and business opportunities which the company’s operations naturally bring to these counties. To date, GVL has also deposited over US$400,000 into Community Development Funds (CDF)s operated by the respective communities.
GVL’s Communications Coordinator, Alphonso Kofi cited the construction of the High School and teacher residence valued at US$120,000 and the rehabilitation of the Quiah Town Public School in Butaw and the construction of the Shaw David Elementary School and the Kulu Elementary School in Sonnuhn Town in Tarjuowon. The company also contributed US$24,000 for the construction of the J. Milton Teajay School in Unification City. Other projects include GVL Elementary School for worker’s children and the renovation of the Panama Jr. High School, construction of Tubmanville School Annex, renovation of Kpanyan Central School and the provision of scholarships. GVL has donated school materials and furniture such as arm chairs, desk, tables and books to some of these schools and is also providing stipends for several volunteer teachers for public schools in Sinoe County.
Mr. Kofi said that in Grand Kru County, the schools program includes the construction of the Piddy/Nyanbo and Wedabo Gbanken Public Schools and the rehabilitation of Zoloken, Newaken, Sorroken, Wutuken, Weteken, and Garraway Beach Schools.
In 2020, the Company embarked on its US$270,000 GVL Educational Support (GES) Program in Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties. The GES Program is intended to support the educational needs of both GVL employees’ dependents and pupils from the surrounding communities. The GES is on top of the commitment for educational support delivered by GVL in its MOU/SAs with the communities.
GVL continues to maintain the Sinoe highway roads heading to Grand Kru and from Grand Kru highway to Maryland highway as it has done for the past 4 years. The Po river roads have been constructed and others rehabilitated.
GVL has constructed about 13 kilometers of road connecting Plouh community to Butaw Seaside, Tugbeh Village to Jimmy Doe Town in Ceedor, Other projects include the construction of the Sonnuhn Town to Jacksonville road, Sonnuhn to Bestnewlu City and Bestnewlu to Philip Pantoe Village roads connecting Shaw Town.
GVL has built housing units for workers, provided medical facilities to cater to employees, their families and surrounding communities and rehabilitated the Tubmanville and Kabada clinics, providing two units of 5.5kva generators to provide electricity for these facilities. The company has also constructed and rehabilitated hand pumps for the water needs of communities where it operates.
GVL periodically provides transportation to the surrounding communities to attend community programs, football games, meetings, conferences. It has also made major financial and logistic contributions to national, county and community level health programs and projects, especially during the Ebola and COVID19 pandemics.
GVL hopes to be able to continue to expand its operations in Liberia in accordance with the Concession Agreement. This will allow the company to continue its efforts in reducing rural poverty and help bring sustainable prosperity to the communities where it operates.