Beneficiaries appreciate SCNL, FDA, the Government of Norway, and the World Bank
The Liberia Forest Sector Project, (LFSP), funded by the Government of Norway, through the World Bank, implemented by the Forestry Development Authority, (FDA), through the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia ((SCNL), and IDH-the Sustainable Trade Initiative, under the Joint Venture (JV), North-West Landscape, on June 30th, 2023 tuned over a newly renovated school, handpump, and clinic to FDA and the communities in Fornor, Kwelahun, Grand Cape Mount County. The turnover ceremony was in the completion of the 18-month intensive LFSP implementation in North-West Liberia.
The turnover ceremony was marked by huge celebrations from the communities, which included traditional Mende songs, and they danced in appreciation of what SCNL and partners have done to empower the communities. Remarks came from the Managing Director, FDA, C. Mike Doyen, SCNL Executive Director, Mr. Michael F. Garbo, commissioner, District Education Officer, (DEO), District Health Officer, (DHO), and town chiefs. MD Doyen making remarks in Fornor and Kawelahun, said initially forest-edge communities were reluctant to keep a portion of their forests, with the notion, conservation doesn’t bring development. “Today, the story is different because, through conservation now, the construction of bridges is taking place, renovation of schools, clinics and even the provision of loans and other livelihood opportunities for the communities. The oxygen we breathe comes from the forests, let’s keep protecting the forests because it is not only important for Liberia, but the whole world”.
Mr. Garbo, in both towns, thanked the FDA, the Government of Norway, the World Bank, and in particular, forest-edge communities for embracing conservation. “Today, I am very happy to turn over Schools, handpumps, and clinics to you, [Mr. Doyen]. Please present them to the people of Fornor and Kawelahun so they can use them for the benefit of the communities. SCNL will continue to work in conserving nature while developing forest-edge communities,” he said.
Commissioner Lawrence Brown, DEO, Johannes F. Belle receiving the keys to the school and the clinic in Fornor and Kawelahun, appreciated SCNL, FDA, and partners for thinking about the people of Fornor and Kawelahun. They encouraged residents, parents, etc., to take good care of the school. “The school has been renovated, it leaves with you, the (community dwellers) to take good care of it…don’t allow your children to play around it, train them to keep the place clean,” Mr. Belle added.
Fornor has over 100 students attending the Kongbe Public School (elementary), and thousands take treatment at the clinic in Kawelahun. Other facilities renovated by SCNL through the LSFP are in Kongbor (Clinic), Gbarpolu Country, Tahn, Grand Cape Mount County, and several others in Kolanhun, Lofa County. Now that both facilities in Fornor and Kawelahun have been renovated, students now have a clean and decent environment to learn…while patients in Kawelahun, and nearby communities will now receive treatment under a similar condition.