CVI Gold Mining Camp in Konobo District, northeastern Grand Gedeh County is booming with socioeconomic activities, something most of the dwellers described as “life outside of Monrovia.”
Nearly every social activity one would easily find in urban communities can also be found in and around the alluvial gold mining camps within southeastern Liberia, excluding the most talked about CVI camp.
When this reporter visited the CVI and the Philadelphia camps in both Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties recently, a bottle of stout was sold for L$200, while in Philadelphia it is sold for L$225.
A bottle of large beer in CVI is L$300 and costs the same in Philadelphia. All other beverages alcoholic and non alcoholic are sold in the booming nightclubs across the camps.
Video clubs, each outfitted with a satellite dish, are on 24 hours, with all the latest DStv movies and sporting activities.
“Even though we live in the jungle, but we participate in other social activities you think about in the cities,” said one Cecelia, young lady in the club.
“I don’t know when I last visited Monrovia, or even Zwedru that is closer here; we got whatsoever we need and eat the best of food, even frozen food,” she added.
Frozen food products, such as chicken feet, pork, fresh fish and among others are sold in these camps.
Over a hundred motorcycles are circulating across the camps, where garages can be seen at every corner ready to repair any damaged bike or machine.
Petroleum products including gasoline sells for L$500 in CVI, while in Philadelphia one forks out L$600, and a gallon of diesel fuel costs a little more.
Communication with the outside is however difficult with the lack of GSM coverage. The miners and those residing around the camps have to walk quite a distance to communicate effectively with the outside.
The lack of civil authority including the absence of law enforcement officers is contributing to a situation where lawlessness and violence are on the rise and are said to pose major challenges to residents of the area. The trafficking and use of illicit drugs is also said to be a major problem in the area and is one to which Government has not given a response.