LIBERIA: VP Koung identifies With Families of Chio Town Mudslide ..urges Youth to abandon Illicit Mining

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Liberia’s Vice President Jeremiah Kpan Koung has pleaded with residents particularly youths of Chio Town, River Cess County to desist from illicit mining on the site that witnessed the death of 11 people in a recent mudslide.
River Cess County authorities have since reported that despite the tragedy, there are still some youths who are defiant and bypassing to go to the site which is considered as a death trap.
But speaking following a site tour of the mining site on Wednesday, April 3, 2014, VP Koung dismissed what he called a myth that there will be more gold deposits at the site because of blood sacrifice about the mudslide that killed several residents.

“It’s a lie to believe that because of the death of these people, the mouth of the Gold in the mine in question has opened”, the VP told the bereaved families in Chio Town, while warning them to stay clear of the pit created by the illicit mining.
The Vice President who was asked by His Excellency President Joseph N. Boakia Sr. to reach out to the family members of the recent mudslide on behalf of the Liberian Government emphasized that rather than risking their lives engaging in illicit mining, the young people in Rivercess should engage into meaningful agricultural activities to sustain their livelihood.
According to a Press Release from the Office of the Vice President, VP Koung then expressed the government’s condolences to the families and presented separate, funds, rice, and mattresses as the President’s way of consoling the victims.
The amount of two hundred thousand Liberian dollars (LRD200,000) and 10-bags of 25kg rice each were presented to the families of four of the survivor currently seeking medical attention while the families of those who died in the tragedy received one hundred thousand Liberian dollars(LRD100,000), 10 bags of 25kg rice and one mattress each as an initial contribution from the government of Liberia through the President.
VP Koung was accompanied to the Chio Town mining site by several government officials including National Security Advisor Cllr. Samuel Kofi Woods, the Rivercess County Legislative Caucus chair by Willington Geevon-Smith, and officials of the National Disaster Management Agency.
Speaking earlier, Senator Geevon-Smith lauded the initiative by the Government to identify with the situation in the county particularly the victims of recent calamity but wants the central government to do more in creating job opportunities in the county.
He attributed the increasing wave of illicit mining in the county among young people to the lack of job opportunities.
The River Cess County Senator said the county is without one Concession Company, something he is encouraging the government to consider doing to avoid illicit mining among the young people.
Also speaking, the Paramount Chief of Chio Town John Sowee, who took the Vice President on a tour of the mining site, expressed gratitude to the government for identifying with them in the period of bereavement.
Liberians on March 26, 2024, woke up to the news that 10 residents of Chio Town had died and others currently on critical list in a mudslide after they were reportedly engaging in illicit mining at a mining site operated by Devaco Mining Company.

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