Commissioner Self-funds Projects to Keep District Afloat

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Headquarters of the District Commissioner, Jefferson Saye Gondah

In the absence of development fund

The building hosting the commissioner of Meinpea Mahn Administrative District in Nimba County has become a dilapidated structure and Commissioner Jefferson Saye Gondah has now been obliged to use his personal funds to renovate it.

Prior to his appointment in the then Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration, Mr. Gondah was a businessman, an occupation that could prove useful in his efforts to undertake the US$8,000 project currently ongoing in the district.

The renovation project includes a modern toilet facility.

Additionally, Mr. Gondah and his people have engaged in communal farming, without funds from any governmental or non-governmental agency, to help carry out this agricultural activity.

“We have the county and social development fund to facilitate these projects; but since we took over the district, the fund has not been forthcoming; and because it is not coming, we cannot wait to see it before doing what we could to help us.  This is why I have to use my own money to undertake the projects,” Gondah said.

“Since the election ended, followed by a transition, there has not been a county sitting to decide on what goes to administrative districts for development. My office, however, sees it necessary to undertake the projects,” Mr. Gondah said.

The color of the building has faded and the corrugated zinc is rusty. The ceilings are at the point of dropping, while window glasses are without protective iron bars.There is also an old Yamaha motorbike that is out of order, but has remained parked at the headquarters.

Residents and those visiting the headquarters for different administrative reasons were using pit latrine; but the newly-built toilet contained a commode and hand-washing unit.

“The motorbike here is in a defective state, even the scratch cards we were given before no longer come to us because of the current situation in the country,” Commissioner Gondah said.

The County’s authority, according to the Commissioner, has written about the problem facing the district, but he is yet to receive a positive response from Sanniquellie, the political capital, except empty promises.

Communal farming, as part of a self-help initiative, used to be a community engagement whereby dwellers above the age of 18, and not students, would converge on a farmland to work.

Men do the brushing, felling of the trees and cleaning the burnt farm; while women sow the seeds by propagating and mixing them with the soil.

Proceeds from farmlands were primarily used to feed officials visiting a town, village or chiefdom.

This practice, which once helped the locals with food security, has vanished long ago. Guests visiting towns, villages or chiefdoms are fed by what local government officials collect from community dwellers.

Commissioner Gondah has meanwhile appealed to the County’s authority to remember his district in terms of request for funds to help rebuild the district’s headquarters in Bunadin.

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