…. from Sanniqullie, Nimba County
January 7, 2023
The objective of the assessment was to gain a better understanding of:
· Some historical site in Nimba County
· Physical layout and suitability of the current historical sites.
· VoV/FSTS intentions and needs for these historical site
- the historical facts surrounding these historical site
· The number and condition of populations stranded around these historical site
The findings presented in this report will inform upcoming site planning and camp management operations in Aerial and are therefore focused on educating our targeted population on the historical events and sites about their county and country at large.
Michael Jentzsch came to see his Blood Brother Ben
The methodology for the assessment consisted of:
1. visiting these historical site
2. Interviews with elders and people in authority managing these site
3. taking pictures and videos documentary about these site
4. Interviews with members of the host community
5. Site assessments, observations, and interviews with current care taker(s)
Profiling of Nimba county
Nimba County is a county in northeastern Liberia that shares borders with the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire in the East and the Republic of Guinea in the Northwest. Its capital city is Sanniquellie and its most populous city is Ganta. With the county’s area measuring 11,551 square kilometres (4,460 sq mi), Nimba is the largest of Liberia’s 15 counties. The county has six statutory districts. As of the 2008 Census, it had a population of 462,026, making it the second most-populous county in Liberia (LISGSI, 2008)
Named after Mount Nimba (Neinbaa Tohn in the Mahn (or Mano) language), which demarcates part of the Guinea-Côte d’Ivoire border, Nimba is also bordered by Bong and Grand Bassa counties to the west, Rivercess County to the southwest, and Grand Gedeh County to the southeast. The northern and northeastern parts of Nimba border the nation of Republic of Guinea, while the northeast lies along the border of Côte d’Ivoire.
The main ethnic groups in Nimba County are the Dan, also known as Gio and the Mano. The Dan, commonly known as the Gio, live closer to the Cote d’Ivoire border. In that French-speaking country, they are known as the Yacouba. The Mano live closer to the Guinea border.
There are also indigenous minority groups, such as Krahn, Gbi, and Doru. Small Kpelle and Bassa settlements are located near the borders of Bong County and Grand Bassa County, respectively. These are the historical indigenous peoples of Nimba County who have settled in towns and villages.
Various ethnic groups from other parts of Liberia, such as the Mandingo people, have also settled here. They are indigenous people of Lofa County, Guinea, and the Cote d’Ivoire. Other tribal peoples include the Lorma from Lofa. Since the early 20th century, peoples from all parts of West Africa have settled in Nimba.
The Team of five persons from Voice of the Voiceless and From Street to School visited five site while in Nimba County beginning from the 31 of December 2022 to the 2 of January 2023, the visit was aim at profiling some of the historical site in Nnimba county, to established some historical facts that lead to the establishment of these area and to use the video documentary to educate our targeted population on the history of the county and Liberia at large. The site visited were:
- Lake Teleh
Lake Teleh is located in the capital of Nimba County Sanniqulliee and is the only recognized artificial lake in Liberia. From interviews conducted the lake was completed in 1935 under the commissionership of George Dumba. Commissioner Dumba upon his visit to neighboring Guinea and saw a similar like, decided to bring similar idea to the people of Nimbia, upon his returned he encourage his people to expand the stream of water locate in that part of Sanniqullie to turned it into a lake. The purpose was to have some recreational activities for young people at that time, and to give them some livelihood they transported some fish from the Duo river in Monrovia and place it in the lake for young students to fishing, sell and have some finance to pay for book and other school materials. From the assessment, the lake has lost it true essence, the lake has turned into a dumping site for marketers and community dwellers, and this is as a result of poor meatiness from the county leadership and the local city governance as a whole. In respond to the myth elder Yenah said “it is false commissioner Dumba did not make our people put water from Monrovia, they only took fish called Buga, for people to fishing at that time.”
- African Bible College University (ABCU)
“Away from the busyness and struggle in Monrovia, we are located at the foot of the beautiful Nimba Mountain in Yekepa, Northeast Liberia.” The university was established in 1975 by Rev. Jack W. Chinchen with the aim of changing the life of Christian leadership. His dream was not only for Liberia but to impact the whole of Africa, during the civil conflict in Liberia the university extended to two others African Countries Malawi and Uganda bringing the total of three African countries that hosting the university. The university in Yekepa open its doors to students in 2008 after the civil world and since then have been offering three degrees’ programs in Biblical studies, Mass Communication and Education, currently the school is hosting about 150-200 students both male and female in separated and well-furnished dormitories. From our analysis on the assessment university is in the best environment for learning, with lots of facilities to make learning simple and easy for students.
- Nimba County University
Nimbia University, formally call Nimba County Community College was established September 16, 2010 during the presidency of Madam Ellen Johnson by an Act of the 52nd legislature. Nimba University was one of the first community colleges that were built to decentralized major activities from Monrovia to other parts of the counties in 2010 the community college was officially dedicated and began full operation to give tertiary education to graduating high school students. On the 21th of February 2021, the 54th house of Legislature passed into law making the Nimba Community Colleges (NCC) to a full university named Nimba University (NU). As of our assessment date the University runs six different colleges namely the colleges of Education and Liberal Arts, college of Engineering and Geosciences, college of Natural Sciences, college of Health Sciences, college of Agriculture and Food Sciences and the college of Business and Public Administration. Our team arrived at the camps when the schools had gone on the Christmas celebration, therefore, we couldn’t have obtained information about admission and others important information.
- AOU Conference center
In Sanniqulie Nimba County of Liberia, was where the meeting between formal presidents Williams V. S. Tubman, Quamie Nukrumah and Alpha Konte, of Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leon had the first meeting to unite the African continent in 1959, the hall in which the meeting took place is name as the OAU Conference center in Sanniqulia Nimba County. This part of Nimba is purely historical, this site is currently use as the Administrative building, which host major ministries and agencies where the people of Nimba can easily and locally transact with their government. From our own observation and interviews conducted this hall in which the meeting took place is use for other conferences, graduation ceremony, and/or events.
- Joe-Cepher farm
The team lastly visited a farm own and operated by Joe-cepher queelay a graduate of the agriculture department of the Cuttington University, from our interview he established the farm upon graduation in 2016, and started with coco farmed, later he bought some piglets and try raise them. From our assessment the farm currently contains about more than fifty pigs, rabbits, goats, ducks, and other high breed animals, due to the currently weather condition the fruits and vegetables are still at the seedlings stage and waiting to be transplanted. After touring the farm our team have discovered that the facility had so much to learned from and could be used as a motivation to setup a farm that could be a longtime investment for the institution.
Challenges faced from the Assessment
The team was faced with lots of challenges, which include but not limited to: The timing for the assessment wasn’t good enough to meetup with the people in authorities to interview. The time allotted for the trip wasn’t enough to conduct extensive research and talk to people who have the historical facts about these historical site. On the side of these historical areas, local authority and people in charged to managed these areas have left the place less attended to, thereby making the site to lost it truth beauty and purpose for which it was founded.
Based on the challenges from the trip we would like to recommend the following:
- That every time the institution wishes to do profiling of these historical site should be done during working hours.
- The institution should also lot about a week to do profiling for a historical sites in any counties