Sime Darby Wins Citizens’ Support: Undertakes Road project

Roslin Azmy Hassan, Sime Darby Liberia Head said nothing would make him happier than to see mothers receiving medical care and school-goingchildren attending school in preparation for their future
Roslin Azmy Hassan, Sime Darby Liberia Head said nothing would make him happier than to see mothers receiving medical care and school-goingchildren attending school in preparation for their future

Malaysian oil palm giant is said to be wining more support from the people of Grand Cape Mount County, four years on, as the company’s multi million investments is beginning to make greater impacts on citizens’ lives.

The company has created hundreds of jobs, sent scores citizens abroad for specialized trainings, put dozen others on local scholarship, constructed schools and health facilities, and is now rehabilitating and building new roads in its concession areas.

 Sando Fahnbulleh, 57 is among the first female town Chiefs for her Village, Karnga. She says her village which is in Zodua Clan is proud to be one of three villages that had surrendered new land to Sime Darby for development into Oil Palm early this year.

Even though Sando’s rubber farm was not qualified to get corps compensation because it falls within a 2 kilometer buffer zone that Sime Darby sets aside to each town as part of SDPL’s policy for land expansion and acquisition, she remains grateful that the nightmare of bad road is over. With good roads, Sando says she and other women will be able to transport food crops to markets nearby for additional income.

The rehabilitation of the more than 40 kilometer road that stretches across Sinjeh to Gbesseh, for almost a week according to Sando is a mark of Fidelity by Sime Darby.

“I woke up one morning to the sound of the yellow machines on our road. When I saw the company fixing our roads it made me feel happy. It shows that we didn’t make the wrong choice by letting Sime Daby in our area, and that we can trust the company.”

Citizens including women and children are getting free madication in Sime Darby's concession areas
Citizens including women and children are getting free madication in Sime Darby’s concession areas

Sando said the last time she recalled Zodua road was rehabilitated was in 2007. Since then, her Clan has faced huge challenges of getting vehicles into the area due to bad road. Sick people, pregnant women and children according to the Chief, have borne the blunt of the lack of good roads.

Conditions in the area is very dire, the chief told this paper. According to her, the hope of many people, old and young, would have vanished if Sime Darby had insisted it was not coming to the area because of the challenges it faced in its past over land acquisition in Liberia.

Clinics, roads, and safe drinking water are like luxury in most parts of Liberia, Zodua not excluded.
According to the Chief Sando, Zodua residents were not the only beneficiaries of the road. She said because the only bridge that links Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount Counties had spoiled, commuters were now using Zodua road as an alternative route to get their goods to those parts of the country.

Petty Traders in their numbers from different areas were also seen with food and other commodities in Zodua. One of the Traders, Miatta Kaidii said they are aware that people have money in the area because they were getting money for their crops.

“Besides that, plenty people from Monrovia and other parts of the country will soon start to come here. When you bring anything thing like food or regular house whole things people will buy it;” Miatta said.   

Morris Sembeh is the general Town Chief of Zodua Clan and a strong opinion leader among his people. He has been General Town Chief for many years before and after the war. As father of 17 children, he believes the best he has done for future of his children was to be a part of the decision to let Sime Darby move into his clan.

Grateful Sembeh, face full of smile, could only but recite the Al Fatiha a verse from the Holy Koran. Chief Sembeh said as a Muslim the verse was usually read for people who need the protection and blessing of God.

Partial view of the Matambo Estate Housing units for employees at Sime Darby
Partial view of the Matambo Estate Housing units for employees at Sime Darby

“Sime Darby is our true friend. What you’re seeing me doing, the people of Zodua have not done this for any other company. But I can tell you this for sure- I can see a future for our children. I can see a better day for this clan. Zodua is about to open”! Sembeh said with a passionate voice.  
Sembeh said he believes the development that Sime Darby will carry on in his clan will far exceed what was done in lower Garwula District.

Journalist D K Sengbeh at Sime Darby Plantation in February of 2014
Journalist D K Sengbeh at Sime Darby Plantation in February of 2014

“Our children are already getting employed, even though Sime Darby is still far from beginning the real work. We were told to recommend some young people from each village to get employed- I was not even expecting this.” Sembeh said.

Advertisements

Author: D K Sengbeh

Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (author of Sengbeh's Weblog) is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist, poet and writer with with journalism experience since 2001, of working both as a mainstream journalist and a communication/media consultant in Liberia. He is Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (elected Dec 2013). He was Assistant Secretary General of the Union Dec 2011 to Dec 2013. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper—one of Liberia’s credible dailies. Before joining the Informer, Danicius had served as reporter, chief reporter, sub-editor and News Editor at The Independent Newspaper between 2002 and 2006. Before then, he was reporter at the defunct Patriot Newspaper and Kiss FM 2001-2002. Danicius is a UN Media Fellow and Liberia’s first UN Medal Award-winning journalist for his contribution to journalism and for being the second Liberian journalist in 15 years to qualify for and successfully attended the United Nations’ Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalist Fellowship Program in New York and Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism from the International School of Journalism. He holds several awards and recognitions both in and outside of journalism, and carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He volunteers as Chair of the Information and Communication Committee of his local Bardnersville community. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018/ dakasen1978@yahoo.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s