Some of the ‘scrapped’ equipment are grounded in Foya
Several pieces of equipment belonging to the African Development Aid, under the auspices of the Libyan African Portfolio (ADA/LAP), are reportedly being scrapped by unidentified persons in Foya, Lofa County.
ADA/LAP is an agricultural company that signed a concession agreement with the Liberian government to cultivate and produce rice in the country.
Mina Tamba, one of the security guards assigned at the equipment site, told the Daily Observer that the project was a joint venture of ADA, an NGO established by Wendell McIntosh, and the Libyan government.
Tamba attributed the “failed project” to the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
He informed the Daily Observer that unidentified persons, suspected of being criminals in Foya and other parts of Lofa County, are reportedly removing the main parts of those machines and transporting them to neighboring Guinea for sale.
“All these machines you see here are no longer in good working condition, because most of the parts have been taken away by some unknown persons under the cover of darkness,” Tamba said.
What is more disappointing, according to Tamba, is that more than 15 pieces of modern agriculture equipment are being “scrapped and the parts are reportedly taken to Guinea, thus leaving the equipment at the mercy of grass that has grown so high it has nearly covered the equipment. The situation has made the place a hideout for suspected criminals.”
Tamba narrated that since the project came to a close more than four years ago, security guards assigned at the equipment site could no longer keep guard because the company could not pay them.
Tamba told this paper that ADA started as an agriculture NGO in the early 2000s.
“When that farm was opened here, people thought things would be fine for everybody but, since the project closed down, things are tough here on us,” she said.
She said ADA’s concept and mission was to train and transform ex-combatants and disabled people into mainly rice production so that they could become self-reliant.
Windell McIntosh, ADA’s founder, navigated his NGO through the then national disarmament and demobilization program of ex-combatants and won an impressive deal that saw hundreds of ex-combats transition to his program to be trained in rice production under the popular slogan, “Exchanging Guns For Hoes and Seeds, Not Bullets,” Tamba continued.
“The program was a blessing for many of the former fighters, non-combatant citizens as well as those physically-challenged people, who were suddenly transformed into progressive farmers,” he said.
The project attracted lots of people, including some Singaporeans, who came down here three years ago to film the effort of ADA.
Tamba added that since then, he and others have not heard anything more about the project. He said they thought the visit of the Singaporeans would have attracted international attention to the project, which was believed to have helped ADA source foreign aid.
Meanwhile, Madam Teresa Vanwen, a lady on whose property the equipment is parked, has appealed to ADA and the government to remove it.
Vanwen added that because of the equipment being parked on her land, the place is being used as “criminal den.”
“I am making an appeal to ADA and the government to please come and remove the equipment, because while suspected criminals come under the cover of darkness to steal some of the parts, they also used that means to steal my solar panel, doors and window glasses,” Mrs. Vanwen alleged.
“I want to move to my house, but cannot do so when these heavy machines are still occupying my land; moreover, my own life will be at risk,” she said.