Residents of Commonwealth District in Grand Cape Mount County have lauded operations of Community Development Initiative (CDI), a non-government organization (NGO) that is rolling out the reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) program in the county.
According to some of the residents, many of whom are farmers, the program has contributed positively by employing some of the villagers to earn money and also take care of their families.
The residents have, however, dispelled report in some quarters that CDI promised to provide a sustainable livelihood for them, but have not lived up to its own agreement.
It was recently rumored in one of the communities that CDI has earlier assured residents of Kpalan Town, a remote village near Lake Piso Multiple, that if they stopped hunting and fishing in the protected area, the entity will provide alternative means for them to earn a wee-deserved livelihood.
The report said that, nine months later, the company is yet to fulfill its promise, dashing the villagers’ hope.
David Davies, Kpalan Town Chief in the Commonwealth District, told newsmen recently that awareness of forest and wildlife protection was conducted by CDI, and residents accepted its outcome.
Mr. Davies said upon the acceptance of the forest protection awareness, they made several recommendations, among them, the implementation of sustainable programs, micro loan, the construction of hand pumps and improved agriculture programs.
Patricia Sambolah, CDI Cape Mount Field Supervisor, said her institution is implementing phase one of a World Bank project aimed at protecting the forest and wildlife through awareness.
Sambolah said the project did not call for provision of micro loan as was reported.
CDI executive director, Lawrence Bondo, refuted the report that his institution promised the residents of Kpalan Town sustainable livelihood without living up to said obligation.
Bondo expressed regret over the report, which he said was aimed to tarnish the high earned reputation of his entity that has been working throughout Liberia since it was established.
He added, “CDI was established on the basis of helping Liberians, should the World Bank award contract to them to create more awareness on the importance of forest and wildlife protection.