The Heroic Land (The Home of Conqueror)
Location in Liberia
Largest city (Ganta)
|• Superintendent||D Dorr Cooper|
|• Total||11,551 km2 (4,460 sq mi)|
|• Density||40/km2 (100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (GMT)|
Nimba County is a county in the northeastern Liberia that shares borders with the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire in the East and the Republic of Guinea in the Northwest. Its capitol city is Sanniquellie and its most populous city is Ganta. With the county's area measuring 11,551 square kilometres (4,460 sq mi), Nimba is the largest of Liberia's 15 counties. The county has 6 statutory districts and as of the 2008 Census, it had a population of 462,026, making it the second most populous county in Liberia.
Named after Neinbaa Tohn Mountain, which demarcates part of the Guinea-Côte d'Ivoire border, Nimba is also bordered by Bong and Grand Bassa counties to the west, Rivercess County to the southwest, and Grand Gedeh County to the southeast. The northern and northeastern parts of Nimba borders the nation of Guinea, while the northeast lies along the border of Côte d'Ivoire.
Nimba County is one of fifteen counties 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: 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.
The current County Superintendent, D. Dorr Coopper, who is the chief administrative officer, was appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2017 and re-appointed by President George Manner Weah in 2018.
The County has two senators and nine members of representatives at the Legislative Branch of Government. The two senators currently serving the citizens of Nimba County are senior Senior Senator, Prince Yormie Johnson and junior Senator Mr. Thomas Semandahn Grupee.
There 17 Administrative Districts in Nimba County include (population):
- Boe & Quilla District (18,262)
- Buu-Yao District (40,007)
- Doe District (35,918)
- Garr Bain District (61,225)
- Gbehlay-Geh District (32,176)
- Gbi & Doru District (8,131)
- Gbor District (10,875)
- Kparblee District (11,424)
- Leewehpea-Mahn District (24,747)
- Meinpea-Mahn District (24,157)
- Sanniquellie-Mah District (25,370)
- Twah River District (37,479)
- Garr Bain District (37,479)
- Wee-Gbehy-Mahn District (32,934)
- Yarmein District (22,718)
- Yarpea Mahn District (21,647)
- Yarwein Mehnsonnoh District (25,584)
- Zoe-Gbao District (29,372)
There 9 electoral districts in Nimba County following the 2008 National Census:
- Nimba District 1 Garr Bain District
- Nimba District 2 Garr Bain District, Sanniquellie-Mahn District and Yarpea Mahn District
- Nimba District 3 Garr Bain District, Gbehley-Geh District and Yarmein District
- Nimba District 4 Gbor District and Twah River District
- Nimba District 5 Buu-Yao District
- Nimba District 6 Boe & Quilla District, Gblor District, Doe District and Kparblee District
- Nimba District 7 Zoe-Gbao District and Wee-Gbehy-Mahn District
- Nimba District 8 Leewehpea-Mahn District and Meinpea-Mahn District
- Nimba District 9 Gbi & Doru District, Doe District and Yarwein-Mehnsonoh District
During the late 1950s, iron ore was found in "the Iron Mountain" Mount Nimba. In a joint venture between the Liberian Government, US Bethlehem Steel and the Swedish mining company Gränges, 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 improved. Liberia was amongst the most progressive countries in Africa during this period. History itself caught up with the past and 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 dismantling 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 rainforest. Presently, BHP Billiton has engaged in an extraction agreement with the Government of Liberia to mine ore in Nimba. As such, they are active promoters of Education, scholarship and, for the most part, human resource.
The main ethnic groups in Nimba County are the Dan, also known as Gio and the Mano. The Dan, commonly known as the Gio, live closer to the Cote d'Ivoire border and are known as the Yacouba in Côte d'Ivoire. The Mano live closer to the Guinea border. There are also indigenous minority groups, such as Krahn and the Gbi and Doru ethnic groups with a little Kpelle and Bassa settlements near the Bong County border and the Grand Bassa County border. These are the historical indigenous peoples of Nimba County who have settled in towns and villages. However, as the movement of people is a fact, there are various ethnic groups from other parts of Liberia, such as the Mandingo people, who are indigenous people of Lofa County, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast. There are also the Lorma from Lofa, the Kpelle, and, in recent times, people from all parts of West Africa live in Nimba.
The ethnic Dan (Gio) own and live in these areas: Gbehlay-Geh Statutory District, Zoe-Geh Statutory District, and Tappita Statutory District. The main towns are Karnplay City, Bahn City, Tappitta City, Baylehglay, Buutuo, Garplay, Toweh town, Graie, Gbloulay, et cetera. The Man (or Mano) ethnic groups own and live in Sanniquellie Mah Statutory District, Saclepea Mah Statutory District,and the Yahwin-Mehnsonnoh Statutory District. The main towns are Sanniquellie City, Ganta City, Saclepea City, Flumpa, Zekepa, Kanwin, Yekepa and others. The ethnic Krahn lives along the Ivory Coast border in a place called Kpeahbleee District. The main towns are Zoudru, Behwoaloa, Yourpea Old Town, Yourpea New Town, et cetera. The other ethnic indigenous groups, the Gbi and Doru, live along the border with Grand Bassa and Rivercess. Their main towns are Glann Town, Camp One, Kidka's Town, and Torkpor's Town.
Today in Nimba County, there are peoples from all over Liberia and West Africa who now reside in Nimba. It has created a cosmopolitan melting point in Liberia, with Ganta becoming the second largest city as its population soars and the business class expands.
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 Sanniquellie, the County Referral Hospital is the George Way Harley Hospital. It is solely sponsored by the Ministry of Health, Nimba County. The County Health Officer is Dr. Collins S. Bowah, and the Medical Director of the County Referral Hospital is Dr. Lavela B. Kortimai, Jr. at Ganta. The Methodist Church runs a private hospital. E and J Hospital opened in 2016 in Ganta, Nimba County. At Saclepea, Government of Liberia and Africare there is Saclepea Comprehensive Health Center. There are 74 functional health facilities in Nimba County Health, of which there is one regional referral: Jackson F. Doe Hospital.