River Cess officials have received L$650,000 (US$3,250) in bribes and gratuities from illegal miners operating in the south-central county. The situation is a typical example of how local and county officials meddle in mining administration—a major challenge in the mining sector for decades.
With only about two months left in the dry season, River Cess citizens are calling on their leaders to rehabilitate a 17-mile stretch of road leading from Palm Bush Junction to Cestos, the county capital.
Fifty-two-year-old Churchemah Wesseh says her grandson died from malaria last year because she could not afford to pay the hospital bills in time. A fisherwoman for more than 30 years, the single mother of six hardly makes ends meet these days. Her catch has declined, and the little money she generates is not sufficient to feed her family.
Officials in River Cess recently violated the amended budget law by signing the countyâ€™s resolution in the absence of delegates, on a separate date after the council sitting had ended.