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TIMBY Liberia - June 2019 Highlights

In the first of four initial TIMBY Newsletters - this issue/volume/month's entry - covers stories from Rivercess County.
Published : 30 November, -0001 | Updated : 23 July, 2019

Rivercess: In Central Morweh - Boegeezay Town, community members block only main road to prevent logging trucks from passing through the town. According to community members, one of the two logging companies operating in Central Morweh did some roadwork on the main highway but that work supposedly damaged the town's main entrance.


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Central Morweh Roadblock in Boegeezay
3rd June, 2019

Bogeezay, Morweh Clan, Rivercess County: People from Bogeezay block the main road passing through their town. The people have two logging concessions operating around them and one of those companies did some roadwork. 

Speaking to the spokesperson of the town, the work – while it has made the path of the logging trucks smoother – has made it more difficult for smaller cars and motor bikes to enter their town.

They blocked the passage of the trucks and want the company to commit to repairing the entrance to their town before they can let the trucks through their "gate".

The people had two trucks parked, denying them passage through the roadblock as they waited for the companies to send machines to repair the town entrance. After a few hours, one yellow machine came by but unfortunately, it didn’t come for that purpose. The operator told the people that he was sent to do roadwork some other place so the people did not allow him to go through. He turned around and went back the way he came, which further infuriated the people.

This took up most of the day with the people consistently requesting for the repairing of the entrance to their town.

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Central Morweh Roadblock in Boegeezay

3rd June, 2019

Bogeezay, Morweh Clan, Rivercess County: People from Bogeezay block the main road passing through their town. The people have two logging concessions operating around them and one of those companies did some roadwork. 

Speaking to the spokesperson of the town, the work – while it has made the path of the logging trucks smoother – has made it more difficult for smaller cars and motor bikes to enter their town.

They blocked the passage of the trucks and want the company to commit to repairing the entrance to their town before they can let the trucks through their "gate".

The people had two trucks parked, denying them passage through the roadblock as they waited for the companies to send machines to repair the town entrance. After a few hours, one yellow machine came by but unfortunately, it didn’t come for that purpose. The operator told the people that he was sent to do roadwork some other place so the people did not allow him to go through. He turned around and went back the way he came, which further infuriated the people.

This took up most of the day with the people consistently requesting for the repairing of the entrance to their town.

Rivercess: Kahnweh Clan - The TIMBY monitor from this area notified the SDI team of building tension in Kahnweh. There was a survey conducted (allegedly in the name of the Dorbor and Gbarsaw Community Forest organizations) which ended up encroaching on Kahnweh's land. Men from Kahnweh interrupted the survey in May of 2019 and caused the exercise to be suspended.

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Kahnweh TIMBY Monitor Explains Rivercess Survey Incident
3rd June, 2019

Dunn Town, Kahnweh Clan, Rivercess County: TIMBY monitor from Kahnweh speaks about the incident where people from the Forestry Development Authority, Gbarsaw Clan and Dorbor Clan were conducting a survey and went on to Kahnweh Clan’s community forest.

Background: According to the TIMBY monitor in Kahnweh, when confronted, members of the survey team admitted to possibly being on Kahnweh’s community land and agreed to suspend the survey. SDI sent in the TIMBY team to investigate further.

Dunn town community told the TIMBY team that there was news that people from Gbarsaw clan and Dorbor clan along with FDA and a logging company conducting survey on their land.

"…the contractor, the guy who was conducting the survey told us that he was only hired to carry on his survey. So he was only dealing with the map that they gave him."

The men from Dunn Town and Ziah Town went into the bush to meet the surveyor. Fortunately they met in the bush. They asked the surveyor to leave the bush because they had enter into Kahnweh clan land. The community told the surveying team that they shouldn’t come back until they come along with the FDA an the company to resolve the issue. According to accounts from Kahnweh the community members from Gbarsaw and Dorbor admitted that they were into Kahnweh clan land when they met in the forest. The people managed to delay the survey but there remains plans to follow through with the survey. Company representatives have started coming into Kahnweh to convince the community people to let the survey go on. These negotiations need to be followed closely.

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Kahnweh TIMBY Monitor Explains Rivercess Survey Incident

3rd June, 2019

Dunn Town, Kahnweh Clan, Rivercess County: TIMBY monitor from Kahnweh speaks about the incident where people from the Forestry Development Authority, Gbarsaw Clan and Dorbor Clan were conducting a survey and went on to Kahnweh Clan’s community forest.

Background: According to the TIMBY monitor in Kahnweh, when confronted, members of the survey team admitted to possibly being on Kahnweh’s community land and agreed to suspend the survey. SDI sent in the TIMBY team to investigate further.

Dunn town community told the TIMBY team that there was news that people from Gbarsaw clan and Dorbor clan along with FDA and a logging company conducting survey on their land.

"…the contractor, the guy who was conducting the survey told us that he was only hired to carry on his survey. So he was only dealing with the map that they gave him."

The men from Dunn Town and Ziah Town went into the bush to meet the surveyor. Fortunately they met in the bush. They asked the surveyor to leave the bush because they had enter into Kahnweh clan land. The community told the surveying team that they shouldn’t come back until they come along with the FDA an the company to resolve the issue. According to accounts from Kahnweh the community members from Gbarsaw and Dorbor admitted that they were into Kahnweh clan land when they met in the forest. The people managed to delay the survey but there remains plans to follow through with the survey. Company representatives have started coming into Kahnweh to convince the community people to let the survey go on. These negotiations need to be followed closely.

Kahnweh Clan TIMBY Monitor Explains Survey Incident
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Kaynweh Clan - Sylvester Gives His Account of the Incident
3rd June, 2019

Ziah Town, Kahnweh Clan, Rivercess County: Ziah Town people recount the survey incident where people from the Forestry Development Authority, Gbarsaw Clan and Dorbor Clan were conducting a survey and went on to Kahnweh Clan’s community forest.

Background: According to the TIMBY monitor in Kahnweh, when confronted, members of the survey team admitted to possibly being on Kahnweh’s community land and agreed to suspend the survey. SDI sent in the TIMBY team to investigate further.

The TIMBY team firstly went to Ziah Town where there was an issue of surveying their land illegally. The TIMBY reporter in Ziah town told the team that there was surveyor in their bush along with some youth from Gbarsaw and Dorbor clan and a company called African Lonby Corporation. 

After they approached the surveying team, one of the youth from Gbarsaw clan who was the lead for the surveying team admitted that indeed they were into Kahnweh clan bush. They left the bush but the community is afraid that they will continue to invade their land.

 A representative from the company (Victor Wilson) who is a consultant came back and try to convince us to allow the survey continue. He also told us that the Map we have is the wrong one. He further make a threaten statement saying if our community refused to allow the survey continue, when the company starts to operate in other communities, our community will not benefit. But the community still refused and requested for the new map and asked them to come back along with FDA for any further discussion. 

The Company went back and called the FMC head( Matthew Walley) for a meeting but the meeting didn’t take place. There is a pending meeting with the FMC head.

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Kaynweh Clan - Sylvester Gives His Account of the Incident

3rd June, 2019

Ziah Town, Kahnweh Clan, Rivercess County: Ziah Town people recount the survey incident where people from the Forestry Development Authority, Gbarsaw Clan and Dorbor Clan were conducting a survey and went on to Kahnweh Clan’s community forest.

Background: According to the TIMBY monitor in Kahnweh, when confronted, members of the survey team admitted to possibly being on Kahnweh’s community land and agreed to suspend the survey. SDI sent in the TIMBY team to investigate further.

The TIMBY team firstly went to Ziah Town where there was an issue of surveying their land illegally. The TIMBY reporter in Ziah town told the team that there was surveyor in their bush along with some youth from Gbarsaw and Dorbor clan and a company called African Lonby Corporation. 

After they approached the surveying team, one of the youth from Gbarsaw clan who was the lead for the surveying team admitted that indeed they were into Kahnweh clan bush. They left the bush but the community is afraid that they will continue to invade their land.

 A representative from the company (Victor Wilson) who is a consultant came back and try to convince us to allow the survey continue. He also told us that the Map we have is the wrong one. He further make a threaten statement saying if our community refused to allow the survey continue, when the company starts to operate in other communities, our community will not benefit. But the community still refused and requested for the new map and asked them to come back along with FDA for any further discussion. 

The Company went back and called the FMC head( Matthew Walley) for a meeting but the meeting didn’t take place. There is a pending meeting with the FMC head.

Kahnweh Meeting Prelim
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Kahnweh Communtity - Ziah Town (Rivercess Survey Incident)
3rd June, 2019

Ziah Town, Kahnweh Clan, Rivercess County: Ziah Town elder woman speaks with TIMBY monitors about the incident where people from the Forestry Development Authority, Gbarsaw Clan and Dorbor Clan were conducting a survey and went on to Kahnweh Clan’s community forest.

Background: According to the TIMBY monitor in Kahnweh, when confronted, members of the survey team admitted to possibly being on Kahnweh’s community land and agreed to suspend the survey. SDI sent in the TIMBY team to investigate further.

The elder woman told the TIMBY team how afraid she and the entire community are. She said, they are surprised that Gbarsaw clan and Dorbor clan will bring surveyor on their land unknown to them. 

After they left our land, the company sent a representative to our community, when he arrived, there was a big community meeting on going. The land is the only thing we have now and can not afford to loss it to anybody. We are calling for help from anyone who will be able to help us protect our land from these people.

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Kahnweh Communtity - Ziah Town (Rivercess Survey Incident)

3rd June, 2019

Ziah Town, Kahnweh Clan, Rivercess County: Ziah Town elder woman speaks with TIMBY monitors about the incident where people from the Forestry Development Authority, Gbarsaw Clan and Dorbor Clan were conducting a survey and went on to Kahnweh Clan’s community forest.

Background: According to the TIMBY monitor in Kahnweh, when confronted, members of the survey team admitted to possibly being on Kahnweh’s community land and agreed to suspend the survey. SDI sent in the TIMBY team to investigate further.

The elder woman told the TIMBY team how afraid she and the entire community are. She said, they are surprised that Gbarsaw clan and Dorbor clan will bring surveyor on their land unknown to them. 

After they left our land, the company sent a representative to our community, when he arrived, there was a big community meeting on going. The land is the only thing we have now and can not afford to loss it to anybody. We are calling for help from anyone who will be able to help us protect our land from these people.

Kahnweh Elder Confirms Knowledge of the Survey on Their Land

After some time in Kahnweh, the SDI team decided to move to Gbarsaw to hear their side of the story - the Kahnweh conversation seemed to be dominated by the opinion of the TIMBY monitor and we needed to hear from more people. In Gbarsaw, the people were reluctant to speak to the team. In hindsight, the fact that the team was escorted by the TIMBY monitor from Kahnweh may have caused this reluctance. This story needs to be followed more closely. The people of Gbarsaw are expecting the survey to proceed and the people of Kahnweh are adamant about not giving up any portion of their land.


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Gbarsaw Clan Youth, Samuel, Refused to Talk to TIMBY Team
3rd June, 2019

Sayah Town, Gbarsaw Clan, Rivercess County: Sayah Town woman speaks with TIMBY monitors about the incident where people from the Forestry Development Authority, Gbarsaw Clan and Dorbor Clan were conducting a survey and went on to Kahnweh Clan’s community forest.

Background: According to the TIMBY monitor in Kahnweh, when confronted, members of the survey team admitted to possibly being on Kahnweh’s community land and agreed to suspend the survey. SDI sent in the TIMBY team to investigate further.

One Samuel from Gbarsaw Clan who was part of the survey team disrupted the meeting as he refused to be recorded and started making a scene after we had told the other community members of the recording – he was late to the meeting. "Go to FDA, I’m not here to judge case.". The youth was reluctant to speak with us as he felt he was being accused and became apprehensive.

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Gbarsaw Clan Youth, Samuel, Refused to Talk to TIMBY Team

3rd June, 2019

Sayah Town, Gbarsaw Clan, Rivercess County: Sayah Town woman speaks with TIMBY monitors about the incident where people from the Forestry Development Authority, Gbarsaw Clan and Dorbor Clan were conducting a survey and went on to Kahnweh Clan’s community forest.

Background: According to the TIMBY monitor in Kahnweh, when confronted, members of the survey team admitted to possibly being on Kahnweh’s community land and agreed to suspend the survey. SDI sent in the TIMBY team to investigate further.

One Samuel from Gbarsaw Clan who was part of the survey team disrupted the meeting as he refused to be recorded and started making a scene after we had told the other community members of the recording – he was late to the meeting. "Go to FDA, I’m not here to judge case.". The youth was reluctant to speak with us as he felt he was being accused and became apprehensive.

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Gbarsaw Woman Recounts Rivercess Survey Incident
3rd June, 2019

Sayah Town, Gbarsaw Clan, Rivercess County: Sayah Town woman speaks with TIMBY monitors about the incident where people from the Forestry Development Authority, Gbarsaw Clan and Dorbor Clan were conducting a survey and went on to Kahnweh Clan’s community forest.

Background: According to the TIMBY monitor in Kahnweh, when confronted, members of the survey team admitted to possibly being on Kahnweh’s community land and agreed to suspend the survey. SDI sent in the TIMBY team to investigate further.

Two of the surveying team were sleeping at my house, I accommodated them for three days. There was a day they came back early, when I asked them, they told me that there were group of people from Kahnweh community who had cutlasses and threaten to stop the survey. 

The elderly woman told the TIMBY team that Yes indeed the incident occurred and that the surveying team admitted that they were on Kahnwey’s land.  

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Gbarsaw Woman Recounts Rivercess Survey Incident

3rd June, 2019

Sayah Town, Gbarsaw Clan, Rivercess County: Sayah Town woman speaks with TIMBY monitors about the incident where people from the Forestry Development Authority, Gbarsaw Clan and Dorbor Clan were conducting a survey and went on to Kahnweh Clan’s community forest.

Background: According to the TIMBY monitor in Kahnweh, when confronted, members of the survey team admitted to possibly being on Kahnweh’s community land and agreed to suspend the survey. SDI sent in the TIMBY team to investigate further.

Two of the surveying team were sleeping at my house, I accommodated them for three days. There was a day they came back early, when I asked them, they told me that there were group of people from Kahnweh community who had cutlasses and threaten to stop the survey. 

The elderly woman told the TIMBY team that Yes indeed the incident occurred and that the surveying team admitted that they were on Kahnwey’s land.  

Survey Team Member Stops His Statement After Realizing We Were Still Recording
Gbarsaw Clan Woman Speaks About the Incident and Acknowledges Its Occurrence