Vision: We envisage a transformed, secured and prosperous County excellently governed with equal opportunities for all.
Overview: Grand Bassa County is one of the three original counties, along with Montserrado and Sinoe, that first formed the Republic of Liberia. It was established in 1833 and its capital is Buchanan City, named for Thomas Buchanan, an American who served as the first Governor of the Commonwealth of Liberia.
Before the war, the County enjoyed a vibrant economy. International companies such as the Liberian American Mining Company (LAMCO)/Liberia Mining Company (LIMINCO), the rubber plantation of the Liberian Agricultural Company (LAC), the palm oil plantation Liberia Incorporated (LIBINC), the logging concerns Oriental Timber Company (OTC) and National Milling Company all had operations in the County, and the harbor of Buchanan, Liberia’s second largest port, was very active. The majority of citizens are engaged in informal work in agriculture and/or petty trading. For now the main sources of formal employment in the County are the Government of Liberia and several non-governmental organizations, and the LAC rubber plantation provides jobs for a small number. It is expected that ArcelorMittal Steel, the Port of Buchanan, Buchanan Renewable Energy (BRE), and LIBINC will offer many more direct and indirect job opportunities in the coming years.
Margibi County is endowed with diamonds, water, timber, and iron ore, among other important natural resources. These resources are not currently a major part of the economy because they are extracted only on a small scale, especially in the case of pit sawing and diamond activities. There are no logging, mining, or diamond companies operating in the County as yet. Diamonds are also being mined on a very small scale as a result of the restrictions on the mining of solid minerals.” Forestry and timber processing are not a major part of the economy of Margibi County, as the only extraction ongoing is small scale illicit pit-sawing. The citizens have called for a commitment from Firestone to invest $10 million in a rubber wood facility to produce sawn timber, kiln dried lumber and veneers, with an expected start date for the main plant of mid-2008. 500 persons would be expected to be employed, initially increasing to 1,000.
County Abbreviation: GB
County Flag: The County’s flag is a royal blue cloth with the Liberian flag inserted in the upper left corner and two red and two white stripes in the lower right. The dark blue stands for loyalty, while the stripes represent the four Grand Bassa delegates who signed Liberia’s Declaration of
Independence on 26 July 1847, namely Anthony Gardner, John Day, Ephraim Titler, and Amos Herring,
Resident Population: 221,693
Race/Ethnicity: Bassa-speaking people are in the majority, making up 94% of the County’s population. Other ethnic groups in the County include the Kpelle (5%), and the Kissi (1%), and small numbers of other groups. The Kru, often originating from neighboring Sinoe County, and Fanti fishermen and traders are also a part of the population.
Gender: Gender continues to play a decisive role in determining access to resources and services. Women and girls continue to have limited access
to education, health services and judicial services, which has severely curtailed their participation in the formal economy. Women and girls have been missing out on
opportunities and participation in management and decision-making on all levels of the society. This trend has contributed to feminization of poverty in the County, and in Liberia as a whole.
Almost 35 percent of the population has never attended school, including
nearly 44 percent of females. Illiteracy rates among children and young people remain high at 68 percent (male 55 percent and female 81 percent). The County is strongly committed to gender equity as a means to maintain peace, reduce poverty, enhance justice and promote development. Despite the progress since the end of the war, gender continues to play a decisive role in determining access to resources and services. Women and girls continue to have limited access to education, health services and judicial services, which has severely curtailed their participation in the
economy. Women and girls
have been missing out on opportunities and participation in
management and decision-making on
all levels of the society. This trend
has contributed to feminization of poverty in the County, and in Liberia as a whole.
Besides the Firestone medical facilities, which receive approximately 9,000 patients visits a month and at times buttresses other facilities by helping to provide storage and some medical equipment, there are two main functional Government hospitals
serving the County: C.H Rennie hospital, a referral site in Kakata; and Mike M. Baydoun Health Center in Marshall City. Both facilities badly need ambulances, renovation and supplies for full operation. Apart from the two hospitals, the Government owns 19 clinics among the 36 functioning health facilities in the County. The most prominent among them may be the Dolo Town Community Clinic that was built by the US Embassy. All the Government medical employees are on the government payroll and treatment is provided free of charge with drugs provided by Government and INGOs. Firestone Liberia actively participates to vaccination campaigns for the eradication of childhood diseases.
Resources: Grand Bassa
County is endowed with ample exploitable natural resources including gold, timber, diamonds, crude oil, uranium, sand and rock. Investments in these sectors will yield
significant dividends to the people, helping to reduce the high level of youth unemployment. Timber and gold are explored but on a small scale, while crude oil and uranium are
unexplored. There are no mining and logging companies active in County at present. Palm oil and food crops production are the most important livelihood activities in the County. Currently the palm oil is mostly produced by former employees and squatters of the concession area of Liberian Incorporated (LIBINC), also known as Palm Bay plantation. The production of rubber provided income for some 4% of households.
Unemployment: 5% of marketers in the County are engaged in business
in Monrovia and 14% are selling in urban centers. In the city of Buchanan the major economic activity is fishing, but it is only carried out on a small scale. There is a great potential for fishing industry in Buchanan, so far
unexploited due in part to the lack of refrigeration facilities.
Tourist Attraction: Grand Bassa, like Grand Cape Mount County, does have some beautiful scenery along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, suggesting real potential for tourism. The coast
at Buchanan has potential for the hospitality and food services industries, considering the number of expatriates that are expected to arrive with the companies. However some important coastal areas are seriously affected by sea erosion, which may
intensify if left unattended.
Elementary: The County educational system was once fairly functional. Today, there is a shortage of educational facilities. The available schools often face a problem of overcrowdedness.
Availability of trained and qualified teachers is also a serious problem.
Due to poor incentives, many teachers left the classrooms in search of greener pastures. Currently there are 257 functioning educational facilities in the County, but as it was confirmed by the CDA consultations, many are operated by volunteers in makeshift facilities such as churches and private accommodations, and do not have
desks or chairs. Margibi County is well known for its concentration of outstanding educational institutions. The most prominent among them is the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), which awards diplomas and is known for its vocational/technical training courses. The County also boasts the Harbel Multilateral High school, where the University of Liberia is operating up to 2nd year of studies; the extension of the Gbarnga-based Cuttington University College; the Kakata Rural Teacher Training
Institute, in charge of training and reactivation of teachers; and the Konola Academy, a co-educational institution and prestigious upper secondary school; among others.
Location: The County is located in the area from latitude 6°45′ to latitude 5°30′ North, and from longitude 10°30′ to longitude 9°00′ West (ISO 3166-2 geocode: LR-GB). On the Southwest of the County there is the Atlantic Ocean. Grand Bassa borders with four counties: Margibi on the Northwest, Bong on the North, Nimba on the East, and River Cess on the Southeast. The total land area the County is approximately 3,382 square miles (8,759 square kilometers).