“No Pollution By Chemicals”; Cinta’s Commissioner Debunks Media Allegation Against Jeety Rubber LLC
Roland Johnson, the Commissioner of Cinta, a township located in district #5, Margibi County, has refuted an allegation that a river in his township has been polluted by chemicals being used by Farmers Hope, a Liberian-owned company purchasing rubber for Upjit Singh Sachdeva (Jeety) for use by his rubber plant.
On December 21, 2021, the National Legislature passed the Investment Incentives Agreement between the Republic of Liberia and Jeety Rubber LLC—a 15-year agreement that enables the company to construct, develop and operate a national rubber procession and production plant for the production of tyres, condoms, hand gloves, rain boots, rubber bands and other natural rubber products.
The rubber plant, which is the first major processing plant in Liberia, is expected to process 5,000 tons of rubber per year and bring significant benefits to the economy.
However, Jeety and his rubber plant have come under attack for allegedly being the reason behind the pollution of a river in Weala, Margibi County, by Farmers Hope, thereby causing serious environmental problem for the residents.
But an independent investigation conducted by the Hot Pepper and other media outlets has established that, contrary to the allegation, there are no chemicals being used at the Farmers Hope purchasing site.
Touring the facility and interviewing members of the community, the Hot Pepper investigation established that the allegation against Jeety is false and misleading, as well as speaks contrary to the benefits that the residents are enjoying.
The Founder of the Farmers Hope and Former Bong County Senator, Henry W. Yallah, told the Hot Pepper that, in February 2021, after Jeety secured the land in Margibi County for his rubber factory, he gave them a parcel of land to open a leeway for the purchasing of rubber, so that when the construction of his rubber factory is completed the rubber farmers would have already been acquainted with the place, making it easy for him to obtain rubber.
According to Yallah, Jeety’s worry was that rubber farmers would not have known the factory’s site or not be willing to sell rubber to him when the factory becomes functional without an initial transaction with them, and this was the reason he decided to give them the land in order for them to base there until the end of 2022, at which time the construction of his rubber plant would have completed.
The Farmers Hope boss disclosed that Jeety made available to them one acre of land, to be leased for US$1 (one United States dollars) per year.
“No chemical is being used here; no processing is going on here. The way the tappers take the rubber from the tree and bring it here that’s how we put it in containers and take it away. As you can see, there’s no structure or machine here for someone to say it is being used for processing purposes,” Yallah told newsmen.
When asked whether he was contacted when individuals accusing Jeety made their way to the area, the Commissioner of Cinta Town, Roland Johnson, said he only saw the allegation on social media but no one had contacted him. He frowned at the journalist whom he said is misleading the public, noting that his leadership should be the first point of contact when there are issues in the township and not to sit in Monrovia and write without evidence.
According to Commissioner Johnson, there are two rivers in the area, which he said are very far from where the Farmers Hope is based. He confirmed that the rubber farmers tap their rubber, cook it and bag it before bringing it to the Farmers Hope, which purchase it from them for onward shipping to the Jeety rubber plant on the same day. He challenged the accuser to prove that chemicals are being used in the area.
In a related development, Commissioner Roland Johnson has thanked President George M. Weah for giving him the opportunity to serve and for the government signing the agreement with Jeety Rubber LLC, which is bringing immense benefit to their communities.
He described Jeety as a nice man. “Early this year, Mr. Jeety walked into this place, which was covered by bushes, and decided to invest. Through his investment, a lot of our citizens are benefitting from housing rentals. Mr. Jeety has rented many places from the residents for his employees and contractors. When I asked him why can’t he build his own areas, he said if he decides to build his own housing the communities would not benefit from what they are benefitting now. He said it will be better for him to spend the money on the residents so that they can be able to use the same money to carry out further constructions,” Commissioner Johnson noted.
He explained that a resident of the community, Famatta, has built about three structures just from rental fees she has been receiving from Jeety.
The Cinta Township Commissioner disclosed that Jeety is constructing a clinic in the area, and that he has already hired a Pakistani doctor, who worked at JFK, to cater to the health needs of the people of the area and train the residents to take over from him.
He disclosed further that, in addition to the clinic and rentals, Jeety has employed more than 200 Liberians at the rubber plant and feeds them every day.
He termed the allegation against Jeety as false, and argued that if anything is going on in their area they would be the first to flag it out. He said that the accusers did not quote anyone from the community, which further makes their allegation baseless.