Monrovia, Liberia, March 5, 2018: Two Paramount Chiefs, representing their districts, on Monday, March 5, 2018, officially transferred land rights within the corridor of the CLSG interconnection line along Wee District and Owens Grove in Grand Bassa County, to TRANSCO CLSG. The milestone event was held in the port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Paramount Chiefs Mondaymar Roberts and James Jacob, as custodians of the land that is within the 40 meter wide corridor for the construction of the CLSG transmission line in the said districts, said they will work with TRANSCO CLSG to ensure a smooth implementation of the project. “We are very happy,” they declared.
In response, the General Manager, Mohammed M. Sherif, beamed with smiles and vowed to deliver reliable and affordable energy to the people. “Trust me, we will deliver this project,” he said amidst rousing applause from the audience, mostly project affected people who turned out to receive compensation for the loss of the properties including farm lands.
About 150 project affected people initially are being paid through a transparent payment process.
The General Manager said the electricity grid will not only passed over the affected communities but will also ensure that villages along those corridors are electrified. “When we started this project, we told you we were going to compensate you for the areas the project will affect. Today we have lived by that promise, so we expect your full cooperation as we start work. And we want to assure you, this project will also create jobs for both skilled and unskilled workers along these lines,” the General Manager said
He continued: “This project is not only for TRANSCO CLSG, or the Government of Liberia, but also for you people who live along these lines. So as we have started the compensation, we expect that you also work with us to ensure the project is fully implemented.
The RAP compensation phase demonstrates an advancement in the physical construction phase of the CLSG project. The General Manager said the phase will “allow us to meet our target of providing affordable and stable electricity to millions of our people beginning 2019. I can assure you that we are on the right path to delivery. This project will go a long way in benefiting our schools, hospitals, towns and villages.”
Mr. Sherif also expressed TRANSCO CLSG gratefulness to the officials of Government and the Chiefs, who paved the road for the work to begin. He also counted on their usual support to ensure the security of the project assured that TRANSCO CLSG has no doubt, that their contractors will be free to work for the benefit of all.
To further strengthen community participation and ownership of the project, Mr. Sherif said TRANSCO CLSG, in collaboration with the National and Local committees, has begun the establishment of Grievance Management Committees in all seven (7) counties, to act as a conflict resolution mechanism.
Delivering the Keynote address, Liberia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, Gesler Murray, indicated that the establishment of a sub-regional energy grid for Cote I’voire Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, will help boost security, education, and industrial economic growth. He also expressed gratitude to the four countries for ratifying the CLSG interconnection project and paying their counterpart fees, thus suggesting that they are not only beneficiaries of the project but also partners.
According to the Mines and Energy Minister, sustainable electric grid in Liberia and the other CLSG countries will help boost economic industrialization and as well provide security, health, jobs, education and other basic social services. He asserted that the project which is well advanced, when completed, will help assist multi-million companies wanting to operate or are already existing in Liberia. He also noted that it will help to push the energy barrier.
Mr. Murray admonished those affected by the project to see the initiative as their own so as to promote collective security. According to him, land rights in Liberia is one of the cumbersome activities, therefore, he was grateful to TRANSCO CLSG for ably negotiating with the project affected communities through the just payment of their resettlement packages.