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.
Barclayville residents are drawing attention to Illegal mining activities occurring on the Nu River, which they say violates city regulations and a nationwide ban on the use of dredges.
Built in remote places with no presence of county authorities and law enforcement officers and plagued by crimes, including prostitution, and illegal drug smuggling, many artisanal mines in River Cess run quasi governments to maintain law and order.
More than 60 agents and inspectors in the mining sector have received training in smart mining techniques by the Liberia Forest Sector Project.
Churchemah Wesseh and other fisherwomen of Wesseh Town have seen their livelihood threatened since miners began arriving here on the Cestos River with huge dredges five years ago. This fisherwomenâ€™s town is gradually being drowned into poverty. The same struggle ripples across other towns on the banks of the river in the Central River Cess district.