History Of Lofa County
Lofa became a county by an act of the Legislature in 1964. Before this time the area was known as the Western Province, comprising of four Districts: Kolahun, Voinjama, Zorzor, and Swan Bopolu. Lofa County was for decades the largest county in Liberia, with eleven administrative districts and a population made up of at least eight of the sixteen major tribal groups in Liberia. Five administrative districts have since been redesignated to form what is now called Gbarpolu County.
Lofa County currently consists of six administrative districts (Salayea, Zorzor, Voinjama, Kolohun, Foya, and Vahun) and Zogolimai Township. A chiefdom in Voinjama district is currently being transformed by an act of legislation into Lofa County’s seventh district, to be called Quardu Gbondi. The County’s population is now made up of at least six distinct ethnic groups, including the Kpelleh, Lorma, Mandingo, Kissi, Gbandi and Mende.
The symbol of Lofa County is a flag comprised of three colours: green, light blue and brown. In the middle of the flag there is a hand holding a stick, which symbolizes unity. The blue represents the river commonly known as the Lofa River, after which the county was named. The green represents the vast forest of Lofa County. Initially, before the declaration of Gbarpolu as a County, the total land area of Lofa County was 7600 square miles, or 19,683.90 square kilometres. From that time until now, the land area of Lofa County is not known.
Lofa County has six political sub-divisions, namely: Salayea, Zorzor, Voinjama, Kolahun, Foya and Vahun; one Township, Zogolomai, and one additional pending District, Quadru Gboni. The capital of Lofa is Voinjama. At least six of Liberia’s tribes (Lorma, Kissi, Gbondi, Mende, Mandingo and Kpelle) are resident in Lofa County.
Traditional culture remains strong in Lofa with the Poro and Sande societies still
playing a critical role in the education and initiation of boys and girls. The two largest tribes are the Lorma and Gbandi, which are largely Christian and Muslim respectively. The two coexisted peacefully prior the conflict, but current issues of land ownership, traditional practices and power sharing have led relations to deteriorate. Before the war, Lofa was considered the “breadbasket” of Liberia as a result of its high level of food production, especially of rice, the national staple food.
(Source) Lofa County Development Agenda