MRU takes awareness on Land and water resources management to Western Liberia

The Mano River Secretariat has concluded a day-long engagement dialogue increasing the understanding of local Liberia and Sierra Leone citizens living along the Mano River on sustainable fisheries, farming and mining practices.

The awareness was intended to educated people living along the Mano River which borders Liberia and Sierra Leone to promote cross border water resource management to mitigate practices leading to climate change.

The awareness was also centered of on promoting sustainable land use practice. Along the Mano River there is a huge concentration of unregulated and illicit small scale mining activities which are negatively impacting the soil.

The Coordinator of the Mano River Union Building River Dialogue and Governance-BRIDGE Project in Liberia and Sierra Leone  Abdoulaye Doumbya said the essence of the project is to ensure that the Mano River ecosystem remain on track.

Mr. Doumbya recognized the willingness of the locals in Grand Cape on the Liberian side of the River for the resolve to safeguard their environment in the interest of the sub-region.

He, however, encouraged communities along the Mano River to help  protect the environment for today and future generation.

Residents around this area are mainly involved with subsistence farming, fishing and small scale mining in support of their livelihood.

The Residents, mainly farmers, say they were unaware of some of the things coming out of the awareness but said with the MRU awareness, they will now engage into practices that will improve on the environment.

“Thank God that we have now realized our mistakes, because many of us didn’t know that we’re doing the wrong thing”, said Blama Dagar, a local famer in Grand Cape Mount.

Blama added that he like many other farmers were not aware of the many harms that they were posing to the forest while doing their farming business but vowed to utilized the knowledge acquired and share such to other farmers.

“We think we were using the correct method, but from the training today, I can say we will do the right thing from now on”, Blama further added.

Locals in Grand Cape Mount County near the Sierra Leone -Liberia border make their living by farming, mining and fish harvesting at small skill level.

New mining knowledge

Alhaji Kromah, who make living through mining, described the MRU awareness workshop in Mano River Kongo, as an ‘added advantage’ to do his business the better and safer way that will pose no harm to the environment.

Mr. Kromah hopes that with the new knowledge he might become a successful small skill miner while avoiding land degradation and pollution of the environment.

Pollution blames on lack of knowledge
Meanwhile a local authority in Grand Cape Mount county said the lack of constant awareness is responsible for harms being created to the environment resulting from small scale mining.

Madam Jamiatu K. Watson, Paramount Chief of Porkpa District said routine awareness as was done by the Mano River Union Secretariat is key to make residents aware of the danger they pose to the environment during mining, farming and fishing.

She stressed the need for refilling of mining pits and random burning of forest for farming purposes in order to avoid land degradation in the MRU basin.

Paramount chief Watson was buttressed by Mano River Kongo Township commissioner Gegbay Seituah who admonished his compatriots to work together in safeguarding the environment.

Commissioner Seituah however admitted that pollution is a serious problem near the Mano River as local miners continue to mine without regard to environmental safeguard.

The day long awareness is part of activities of the MRU new project named and styled Building River Dialogue and Governance (BRIDGE) project that is focus on sustainable water resource management and land degradation in the region.

About 20 participants from Porkpa District in Grand Cape Mount County converged in the Bordering town of Mano River Kongo  to participate in the one day awareness activities.

The MRU countries consists of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast working together for the common good.

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