CVI camp, Konobo District, north-eastern Grand Gedeh County, believed to have been in existence since the 1960s. The town is about 4 hours on foot from the Zwedru-Harper highway.A rapid increase in alluvial mining activities in the southeastern part of Liberia is creating concern among many about whether the government is actually in control of the huge gold deposits in that part of Liberia, especially Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Sinoe and River Gee counties, among others.A Daily Observer tour of two of the affected mining counties, Grand Gedeh and River Gee, established that the extent of alluvial mining has evolved to the use of yellow machines to extract the gold.In the mining camp of CVI in Konobo District, Grand Gedeh County, thousands of Liberians and foreign nationals are engaged in the mining of gold, using excavators to mine the precious metal. CVI camp, believed to have been sparsely populated during the 1960s, now hosts more than 10,000 people living in conjested quarters at the foot of a mountain about 4 hours walking distance from the Zwedru-Harper highway.It is believed that at least a kilogram of gold is extracted daily.But the questions many have asked are: Where is the gold going? Who are the buyers? How much revenue is the Government of Liberia reaping from southeastern gold mining? What mechanism has the government put in place to deter smuggling?Alluvial mining in lower River Gee County“We are just confused about the flow of the gold,” said one Elder Younge.Referring to CVI, Philadelphia, and many other mining camps in the southeast, he said, “Our minerals are exploited daily with nothing to point to in terms of development in this region.”In CVI alone, over 10 excavators were seen actively working. These excavators are owned by miners, either Liberian or foreign.“We paid 40 grams of gold to an excavator owner for 8 hours working, and you pay before work,” said one Samuel, a miner.“The use of heavy machines to carry on mining will likely deplete this area very soon, because the people are taking over 10 to 20 kilograms of gold from these areas weekly,” a cook shop owner in the camp explained.Around River Non in Grand Kru, in the community called Joweiken, miners are using floating dredges to extract gold from the river. Most of the dredge users are Ghanaians, believed to be expert in alluvial mining brought into the country by Liberians.Floating dredge used by Ghanaian miners on River Nor in Grand Kru CountyDespite the huge deposit of gold in these areas, road connectivity and developmental initiatives remain a major challenge for the citizens in the region.There are no good schools or clinics in any of the camps, where dozens of kids and school-age children are living with their parents.There were checkpoints in and around the camps, manned by immigration officers and other paramilitary forces, including the Liberia National Police (LNP), but those living in the mining town camp said it is only traditional ‘devils’ that impose law and order whenever there is violence.Gibrel Zoway, an agent of a local cooperative known as CVI Mining and Agriculture Cooperative Society, told this reporter that the cooperative is working along with miners to have the CVI community accessible by road.“We rehabilitated the road from the main road to this mining camp without any help from the government, and we did this to bring relief to the inhabitants of this locality as well as the miners,” he said.During the time spent by this reporter in the areas mentioned, there were no local government officials available. When inquired about, we were told that they had gone to Monrovia to hustle for jobs.“Our efforts in this CVI area have created jobs for many destitute Liberians, who were on streets carrying out lawless acts and creating havoc for others.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Los Angeles voters’ surprise approval of a measure lengthening term limits for City Council members sets the stage for another round of political musical chairs, depending on the results of Tuesday’s election. Four competitors are vying for the District 7 northeast San Fernando Valley seat, with Richard Alarcón – a former council member now serving in the Assembly – at the center of the battle. Alarcón won an Assembly seat in November during the same election in which voters approved term-lengthening Measure R. With that measure on the books, Alarcón quickly shifted gears and launched his campaign to serve six years on the City Council. The 53-year-old former state senator had already served nearly six years in the council district before leaving in the middle of his second term to run for the state Senate. He was succeeded on the council by Alex Padilla, who later left the council seat to take Alarcón’s spot in the Senate. “I think I am the best suited for this seat and think I bring a lot to the table in terms of dealing with the problems we face, whether it’s gangs or improving business,” she said. Also in the race is Oscar Mendoza, 33, of Sylmar, who first thought about politics during the San Fernando Valley secession movement when he ran for a seat on the would-be city’s slate. “That gave me the bug to run for office,” Mendoza said. “Ever since then, people kept telling me I should run for the L.A. City Council. So I decided to do it.” Mendoza acknowledges the difficulty in going up against Alarcón, who has been a fixture in Valley politics since 1989. “Richard Alarcón is the 600-pound gorilla with a big name and a bigger reputation,” said Mendoza, who operates a roofing company with his stepfather. He added, “I think a lot of people recognize that a lot of problems we have today are because of the way Richard Alarcón neglected the district.” Mendoza, who has a degree in political science from California State University, Northridge, also said he objected to Alarcón running for the City Council just months after his election to the state Assembly. “There is no reason for him to be doing this. He could serve six years in the Assembly and then come back here,” he said. The fourth candidate in the race is Marge Carranza, a self-styled community activist who says she will surprise observers. “I wanted to run in 1993, but my husband was opposed to the idea,” the 54-year-old Sylmar resident said. “My children were young, so I didn’t run, but I did stay active with the Chamber of Commerce in Pacoima and in local affairs.” Carranza said she decided to run because she was frustrated with the local political situation. “It took us eight years to get a stop sign installed where someone was killed,” Carranza said. “What was frustrating was everyone treated us as if we were the ones who caused the problem.” Now, with her family’s support, Carranza said she is ready to take on City Hall. “Everyone told me it would take $600,000 to run a campaign,” she said. “I’m going to show them you can do it with $3,000 and by meeting people.” [email protected] (213) 978-0390 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Alarcón said he was motivated to run for City Council because the issues that drove him to seek the seat in 1993 persist – gangs, housing issues and business development. “When I first ran, we had an increase in gang violence, like we have now,” Alarcón said. “I have some ideas on prevention that need to be looked at.” Monica Rodriguez is the best-funded of three other candidates in the race and has picked up some key endorsements, including the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and United Firefighters of Los Angeles. An executive at the California Association of Realtors, Rodriguez worked at City Hall for Alarcón as well as for former Mayor Richard Riordan and former Councilman Mike Hernandez. “I decided a long time ago that I wanted to be on the City Council,” said Rodriguez, 33, who is married to Raul Fontanills and has two children.
Ederson turned out to be Manchester City’s saviour on New Year’s eve with his stoppage time penalty save as Manchester City drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.As Ederson rescuing a point for City, the blue of Manchester also preserved their unbeaten record and extended it to 21 matches. However, their winning streak was halted at 18 by the resolute Palace.Crystal Palace became only the second team this season to take points off City, the other being everton who drew 1-1 in August.Man City drop points for the first time in 132 days as @CPFC end 2017 on a high#CRYMCI pic.twitter.com/NlWkBtKzgO- Premier League (@premierleague) December 31, 2017Palace earned a penalty in stoppage time when Raheem Sterling brought down Wilfried Zaha but the normally reliable Luka Milivojevic had his spot kick saved by Ederson.With Palace defending high and breaking fast, the closest that City came to a goal was when substitute striker Sergio Aguero’s shot took a slight deflection off a defender and hit the post midway through the first half.INJURY TROUBLE FOR CITYKevin De Bruyne was carried off on a stretcher late in City’s 0-0 draw, with Gabriel Jesus also leaving the pitch injured and in tears.Belgium international De Bruyne, who has been instrumental to City’s success this season, suffered the injury after a collision with Palace’s Jason Puncheon in stoppage time at Selhurst Park and left the pitch on a stretcher, with his right leg in a brace.Earlier in the match, Jesus landed awkwardly, and had to be withdrawn. He made his way to the dressing room in tears, consoled by City’s medical staff.advertisementThe extent of the injuries has yet to be determined but Pep Guardiola said after the match that Jesus is injured and he will be out of action for maybe a month or two.#PEP: @gabrieljesus33 is injured, he will be out for maybe one month of two months. #cpfcvcity- Manchester City (@ManCity) December 31, 2017(Courtesy: Reuters)