Gbarpolu — It was a scene of jubilation and huge excitement when several Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners gathered at Kongbor and Camp Alpha, Gbarpolu County respectively to receive mining equipment from the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL). With support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), mining equipment provided to the miners included a water pump, raincoats, rain boots, shovels, rog, buckets, and diggers. The donation to Artisanal and Small-Scale miners is an additional effort from SCNL, through its partner to encourage these miners to mine smartly, while preserving the forest.
Isatu Johnson, Chairlady, Camp Alpha, and Musa A. Kamara, Town Chief, Kongbor welcomed SCNL's staff, and also extended appreciation to the non-profit organization for the huge support not only to miners but the communities.
In Kongbor and Camp Alpha, Fiona Malley, Project Assistant, SCNL, told the miners that SCNL's support was a kind gesture aimed at encouraging legal miners to keep mining responsibly.
"Today, SCNL is here to support Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners. SCNL through its partner, CEPF donates these mining tools to you, the (miners) and encourages beneficiaries not just to mine, but to practice what is called, "Dig a hole, and cover hole".
Malley then advised the miners not to engage in activities that will cause damage to the soil and its future use. "As you all know, the forest is serving as the home for biodiversity for human beings, it gives oxygen and absorbs car dioxide. So, it is important the forest is preserved... SCNL's interest is forest preservation, that is why the organization is encouraging smart mining and reclamation of land".
Mulbah Kelleh, Chairman for Mining, Kongbor, and Issa Dumuya, Chairman for Mining, Camp Alpha, highly appreciated SCNL and partner for the donation. Particularly, Kelleh said, "We're happy with the support from SCNL, we will continue to mine safely for the protection of the forest. We have had meetings with SCNL, but this is the first time to receive this help from them, so thank you for what you have done, and by the grace of God, miners will keep mining smartly".
J. Alex Musa, Secretary, CFMB, Tonglay Clan, and Alfred Jabateh, Executive Committee for Tonglay Forest, also appreciated SCNL. "CFMB and SCNL are working together, this donation isn't strange to us, because SCNL has been doing a lot for the communities. SCNL has provided loans for marketers, provided financial and material assistance to students, trained several farmers, and provided livelihood alternatives to forest community dwellers today, SCNL has put smiles on the faces of the miners, and we hope this assistance will continue so [our communities] can keep developing," Musa said.