LOFA AND ITS MISHAPS…
-A home of attraction but barely developed… Part 4! By: Titus W. Tokpah,. Sr.
(AA, BBA, Cand.-MPA)
Founder/Executive Director, MediaAid Foundation
(Peter Quaqua School of Journalism-PQSJ)
Over the last few days, I have heavily engaged myself by imagining, thinking and putting together some feature write-outs on one of Liberia’s largest 15 political subdivisions, Lofa County. This article will bring out some of the best and key sceneries that Liberia can positively exploit to impact Lofa and its people. This article also closes the chapter on my journey to that part of the country.
Located in the northern part of Liberia, Lofa as a whole, is hilly, mountainous and surrounded and engulfed by huge forestlands, valleys, beautiful wildlifes, etc .. Some of these mountains are mainly situated around the provincial city of Voinjama. Walking down the streets of the city, you look up and see beautiful mountains afar with a cloudy sky in the back.
Standing on top of some of the mountains like Mount Kintorma, you overlook the entire Voinjama. Though, a city with poor infrastructure, the sceneries alone attract and leave visitors with a lifetime memory.
One mountain over which some Lofains have been raising alarms with past and current governments is Mount Wologisi. Both Chinese and Indian mining companies have been attempting to get a greenlight from the Liberian Government to mine Wologisi but to no avail.
Given the number of mountains and other natural resources that engulfed Lofa, should the people continue to resist legitimate mining attempts or be investor friendly and negotiate a win-win agreement through the government?
In my mind, there’s a strong need for eminent Lofains to think and unite around innovative ideas to expose the county’s undeveloped tourism sector. These beautiful mountains and other sectors can be tapped upon by tourists, if the county opens up for positive investments.
I keep using the word “positive investments” because given the bad history of the so-called Alpha Logging Company and other investments as mentioned in one of my previous articles, the people of Lofa must be franked, firmed but friendly with any investor who intends to exploit their resources. Such an investment whether exploration or exploitation must have a triggered down effect on the locals, not just those on top.
There must be a ‘bottom to top approach’ distribution of whatever benefits accrued from the mining of these mountains or forestlands.
Developing some of these historical sites near Voinjama could also attract and open doors for more business opportunities and get residents from other counties to take vacation or holidays there.
Any serious administration could use the Lofa tourism development proposal as very welcoming a case study to open up all hidden tourism sites throughout Liberia, ex: the wonderful Kpatawee Waterfalls in Bong, Blue Lake in Bomi, Lakes Piso and Shepherd in Cape Mount and Maryland respectively.
These sites shall contribute immensely towards the national revenue intake, and would limit the country’s capital flight. Liberian parents including me would feel much better to take our kids on weekends at these beautiful locally-made recreational and tourism areas, instead of flying abroad.
Hope the current Liberian Government and future administration (s) can see reason to explore and develop the Virgin tourism sectors around us!
Thanks for reading…