Illegal mining activities are on the increase in the Sarpo National Park, especially at the ‘Afghanistan’ area of the park in Sinoe County, a community resident has revealed.
Speaking to the Liberia News Agency in Greenville at the weekend, Paul Moses, a resident of the Afghanistan community in the park, said: “the current illegal mining activities are causing a serious problem for citizens of the area.”
He explained that the illegal mining activities have led to an increase in the crime rate and prostitution, while at the same time undermining education and creating an environmental hazard.
“In addition to mining in the park, the increase in illegal hunting and trapping of endangered species is also contributing to the damaging of the forest ecosystem,” Moses explained.
Meanwhile, several citizens in the park area are calling on the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) to regulate the park from illegal mining and hunting activities that have no economic benefit for the government and people.
The citizens added that the illegal mining on a daily basis is undermining the educational growth of youths who have abandoned schooling for the mines, while the artisanal mining is causing serious pollution of major creeks in the area, something which, they said, the government needs to curb by removing illegal miners from the park.
“In order to maintain the natural resources in the park, there is a need for the government to intervene to ensure that the park is regulated through the FDA,” they told LINA.
In recent times, reports emanating from Grand Kru County indicate the growing wave of illegal mining predominantly by foreigners who have no legal documents to engage in such activity.
One Grand Kru lawmaker had expressed the need to find investors to do industrial mining from which revenue would accrue to the Liberian government, while the county, on the other hand, benefits from economic and social projects.