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Nimba is a county in the north-central portion of the West African nation of Liberiamarker. One of 15 counties that comprise the first-level of administrative division in the nation, it has six districts. Sanniquelliemarker serves as the capital with the area of the county measuring , the largest in the nation. As of the 2008 Census, it had a population of 468,088, making it the second most populous county in Liberia.

Named after Neinbaa Tohn Mountain, the tallest mountain in the county, Nimba is bordered by Bongmarker and Grand Bassamarker counties to the west, River Cess Countymarker to the southwest, and Grand Gedeh Countymarker to the southeast. The northern and northeastern parts of Nimba borders the nation of Guineamarker, while the northeast lies along the border of Côte d'Ivoiremarker. Created in 1964, the County Superintendent is Robert S. Kamei.

Government

Nimba County is one of fifteen political subdivisions of Liberia. During William V.S. Tubman's administration (1944–1971), the region now called Nimba County was one of three of Liberia's Provinces - namely, Western Province, Eastern Province and Central Province. In the sixties, Tubman changed these provinces into counties. Central Province became what is known as Nimba County. Before the civil war of Liberia in (1989), it had a population of over 310,000 people. It is the second largest county in Liberia in terms of population.

Districts

The districts of Nimba County include (population):

Iron ore

During the late 1950s iron ore was found in "the iron mountain" Mount Nimbamarker. In a joint venture between the Liberian Government, US Bethlehem Steel and the Swedish mining company Granges a huge project was set up, LAMCO (LIBERIAN American Co.). The project contributed to economic and social development in Liberia for 30 years. Corruption was minimal and political stability good. Liberia was amongst the most progressive countries in Africa during this period. History itself caught up with the past and ironically the usual tribal war mentality erupted in 1980 (see Liberia facts). Nimba county was devastated by the civil war that followed. The iron ore had been degrading in quality, and world prices plunged. The combination led to a dismantle of the LAMCO project. After the civil war (which lasted for more than a decade), Nimba is finally getting better. Arcelor-Mittal is committed to reopening the iron mine at Nimba Mountain, outside the former company town of Yekepa. Hospitals and Schools built and financed by LAMCO, are now being run by ArcelorMittal. The houses which were built by LAMCO have partly been rehabilitated by ArcelorMittal though most are overgrown by the rain-forest.

Demographics

Nimba County is inhabited predominantly by two ethnic groups--the Mán speaking people and the Dán speaking people. The Mandingos or Malinky or Manding people, who were late arrivers in the region, make up the third group but are in smaller number than either one of the two major groups. The Mán and Dán people are very closely interrelated. They also share a common history that is traceable mythologically to a common father but different mothers.

In 2005, the very high price of iron ore is seeing a lot of interest in reopening the mines and rebuilding the standard gauge railway to the port of Buchananmarker.

Healthcare

Access to quality healthcare in Nimba is lacking for many residents. The hospital at Yekepa, built by LAMCO, is now being run by Arcelor-Mittal. In Sanniquelliemarker, the Ministry of Health and MSF Holland are cooperating to run a hospital and a set of health posts which provide access to basic care. At Gantamarker, the Methodist Church runs a private hospital. At Saclepeamarker, MSF Switzerland runs a temporary comprehensive health center and is building a permanent one to move into during 2007. MSF Switzerland also operates three health posts at Lepula, Diallah, and Zekepa (all in southern Nimba). There are other small clinics and health posts operated by NGOs like MERCI and Africare.

Much of the population has access to traditional healers and to unregulated, privately operated pharmacies. The healers are using herbs of unknown efficacy, and the pharmacies are selling chloroquine, a drug which is known to be ineffective against the majority of malaria cases seen in Nimba.

References

External links




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