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“Tension at SOCFIN is a recipe for chaos”

… Says Green Scenery Executive Director

June 5, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai

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Green Scenery’s Executive Director, Joseph Rahall, worried over emerging situations in Malen chiefdom

Executive Director of Green Scenery, Joseph Rahall, has stated that his organisation, which works on environmental issues and natural resources, was in perpetual fear with regards recent reports from Sahn Malen chiefdom, where SOCFIN operates.

“As a land rights advocacy organisation, which seeks for tenure and human rights, we are concerned about the persistent complaints from workers about the task given to them by officials of SOCFIN to accomplish per day, which is not internationally friendly. International standard demands that people should be given task that they should be able to accomplish within a day,” he said.

He disclosed that his organisation has been steadily following emerging situations at SOCFIN between labourers, stakeholders and the company officials, adding that it was not the first time  such problems were emerging from Malen.

The Executive Director cited reports in local tabloids about issues around labour, livelihood and how they were impacting the population and national revenue, among others.

He mentioned a recent ultimatum issued by the Malen Youth Development Union (MAYODU), calling on stakeholders to honour agreement or quit the company.

“What Malen Youth Development Union (MAYODU) and Malen Land Owners Association (MALOA) are saying are practically merging, which shows that the prevailing circumstances in Malen need urgent redress before things get out of hands,” he said.

He disclosed that previously, people thought MALOA was behind unrest in the chiefdom, not knowing that the organisation was merely advocating for what MAYODU is now advocating for.

He said members of MAYODU would soon become despondent if they don’t realize improvement in their lives and the chiefdom.

“Some of the stakeholders in Malen chiefdom don’t seem to like Green Scenery, perhaps, because, we are bringing out the facts without being bias. We have long ago noticed the issues that are now emerging- that workers are not happy and that they trek long distances to work. Safety of workers was and is still of concern, as most of the labourers have not got gloves and nose masks,” he noted.

“If situation continues like this, we are pre-empting that people would start to act against the law. If you are working with low wages and you are unable to meet your social demands, you will become very angry and react negatively.”