Sime Darby Plantation (SDPL) has been commended by Globah Youth for Development and Advocacy (GOYDA) in Klay District of Bomi County for reaching out to the citizens.
GOYDA’s statement, issued recently by Secretary General Francis B. Moore and its chairman, Clarence Boimah, said their commendation was due to the SDPL’s completion of a high school, a clinic as well as providing jobs for hundreds of Bomi and Cape Mount citizens, including the youth, that has helped to ease their education, health and economic difficulties.
“Because of Sime Darby we have a high school for our people, a clinic to take care of us and employment opportunities,” the statement said. SDPL’s presence in both counties since 2010 has eased economic, tensions in both counties, the statement said.
“Today students can proudly boast of graduating from the Sime Darby High School in Bomi County and we think it is proper to say thank you to Sime Darby,” the release said.
Due to the creation of job opportunities many dwellings in the two counties, villages and towns that were once roofed with palm fronds are today changing to zinc roofed houses.
“Residents can now afford to construct their own houses in various towns; and the use of generators for electricity has improved rapidly, which was not happening before.
“Some villages and towns that were not accessible due to bad road conditions or no roads are now accessible and reachable because of roads constructed by Sime Darby. As a result, goods and services have also improved,” the release said.
The group said over the last five years, the standardof living of those employed by Sime Darby has improved.
Although there are challenges in other areas of the concession, the release said, “Sime Darby still promises that with the support of the citizens they can amicably resolve any differences that may come up.
“And therefore we want to use this medium to call on residents to use dialogue so that the gains we have achieved (and seen in our people won’t face difficulties),” the statement said.
According to the release, while it is true that national government is responsible to provide jobs for its citizens, once such jobs are provided through concessionaires, it is incumbent upon citizens to create friendly working environments for companies providing such corporate social responsibilities to gain confidence to do more.
It may be recalled that in 2010, Sime Darby Plantation Liberia signed a 63 year concession agreement with the Liberian government to operate in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties, in areas that were previously operated by Goodrich and Guthrie Rubber Plantations.