Two years ago the government of Liberia signed an $800 million dollar concession agreement with Malaysian palm oil giant Sime Darby to cultivate 220,000 hectares of land. In the agreement, the company promised to build schools and clinics and provide workers with decent housing. More than a year later workers are living in the shells of row houses built by the American rubber company B.F. Goodrich in the 1950s. The workers who live there complain the housing is uncomfortable and unsanitary. Sime Darby says it will move its employees into new housing ONCE the business takes hold. Tecee Boley has been visiting the plantations in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties.
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