‘Putu Remains Committed to MDA’

first_imgThe management of the Putu Iron Ore Mining Company (PIOM) has reassured the government and people of Liberia that it remains committed to the implementation of the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) it signed with government.The PIOM management stated that although in the last few months its activities were reduced it did not close down its operations, as had been rumored, according to a press release issued yesterday.The scale down in operations, according to the company’s CEO Christian Masurenko, was attributed to the Ebola outbreak. He pledged that PIOM will continue to meet its obligations to government and the communities within its concession area.Mr. Masurenko said he was giving the assurance because the scale-down in the company’s operations in the last few months has been “misinterpreted as closure.”The PIOM CEO stressed that unforeseen circumstances have negatively impacted the company’s operations resulting in delays in the implementation of its ventures.The press release made specific reference to the Ebola outbreak which it said continues to hamper normal working activities in the country, and also the steep decline in the world market price for iron ore which is impacting iron ore investments not only in Liberia but worldwide.With the level of progress attained in combating the EVD, coupled with the Liberian government’s efforts to stimulate the economy in particular, the mining sector, PIOM anticipates resuming operations in the shortest possible time, said the press statement.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Our lives have not improved

first_imgDear Editor,During the previous Administration’s tenure, many abuses were meted out to the working class of people and because of the scarcity of jobs, lots of the workers were forced to accept these skullduggeries that are being meted out to them. With much fanfare and promises, this Administration was given the opportunity to help make living here better. Instead, this nation witnesses mostly pensioners/retirees, mostly friends/associates of the President getting high-paying jobs. Now this is a President who is already receiving a huge pension and now has a high-paying job that entitles him to free house allowances, transportation etc, the full works but still see the needs to award himself and his Ministers a huge increase in allowances.Meanwhile, the average working man has to survive on less than 10 per cent of the President’s salary. Visit a particular pharmacy at Parika, East Bank Essequibo, and you will hear that the staff there has to work on weekends and from 08:00h to 18:30h for a measly $10,000 a week.It is compulsory for them to work on Sundays without double pay for that day.Go to the popular lumber yard at Stewartville and you will hear that the staff there have to work for $2500 a day starting from 07:30h to 17:30h and if they work until 18:30h, they will then receive $3000. One staff I spoke with told me he worked for over seven years there and that is his salary and any new person comes, they working for the same.The sad part about it is that he never got annual leave for the seven years he working there, neither any payment for not getting his leave. As I said before, these things have been happening for a while and with the promises by this Administration running up to election, everyone was expecting great changes for the better.Ironically you have to be an associate/close friend or relative to the President or some of his Ministers to enjoy the betterment.Editor, during the end of last month, the Regional Democratic Council of Region Six was in the news for a disturbance of a meeting addressing the plight of security guards that are working for Integrated Security Service that gets the contract for providing security to most Government schools, hospitals etc.Now this firm started during the previous Administration’s term in office and since it’s formation, the media is always publishing the security guards cries for their salaries and the victimisation they are facing.Under this new Administration, it seems to have gotten worse.Why is this blatant abuse still taking place under a new Administration? Is someone getting kickbacks when they ignore these ordinary people?Sincerely,Sahadeo Bateslast_img read more

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What is the PNC-led coalition’s greatest fear?

first_imgDear EditorVery early in the reign of the Coalition, at a time when they were riding on the crest of their power and glory, I wrote an article captioned “They came in on a lie but they will be taken out with the truth.”In that letter, I also made a damning prediction that the Coalition would not last a full five-year term. So, with accurate precision, my prophetic words have come to pass; reasons being that the corrupt nature of this coalition Government has made those honest predictions a stark reality.This PNC-led Coalition is corrupt to the core, and for this fact they have done themselves in.They have dug their own graves, that’s a full blown fact, and the record is there to prove it. Talk to any Guyanese and they will tell you that these three and a half years has been the worst time of our lives, something we would not want to be extended any further. Hence we long for fresh elections and a fresh mandate. Guyana needs to breathe again.Now, the real explanation behind all of these delaying tactics is not a shocking defeat at the polls, that is a foregone conclusion, their greatest concern is how to face the full brunt of the law for their thievery and outrageous corrupt acts against the people of this great country. That is their greatest fear. How will they face the gallows when their time comes up at SOCU and SARA?Be it known that they have done a pretty good job at exposing themselves on the world stage with that lying propaganda rhetoric that all those in the PPP/C would be incarcerated on the basis of their being the most notorious thieves in Guyanese history and the persons who carried out the most brazen pillage of state funds and assets.Well, that brutal assault on the Opposition is about to end, and another spate of accountability would be put on stream as the searchlight opens up on the PNC and their lackeys. In this regard, they are in a quandary as to their time before those very same state agencies in the very near future. Those agencies they so closely “control” will have the distasteful task of investigating and prosecuting them. The fear factor is very great!For three and a half years, billions were expended on a massive witch hunt of every possible PPP/C and perceived PPP/C personnel. Throughout the length and breadth of this country, persons were shackled, humiliated, and brought before the courts on trumped up charges. It was the worst of times for persons called PPP/C, or even to be associated with that party for that matter, as the Guyanese version of the Ton Ton Macoutes went on a rampage.Some gave up hope and vowed never to be associated with the party again due to the pressure and the shame they had to endure. But thanks be to the Almighty, in all of this, no one has been found guilty.Now, on a point of clarification, the expressed reason for the PNC not succeeding in their witch hunt expedition is that the PPP/C governed by the rule. The underhand corrupt deals they were accused of were found to be vulgar lies and pure propaganda. The fact is when you govern by the rules you fear nothing, and no investigation will bother you, hence SOCU or SARA could in any way intimidate. However, these same state sponsored agencies will become a problem for them when their time comes up for questioning on matters of governance and other issues. That is the question that has every member of the Coalition Camp quivering in fear?On this note we are in receipt of information that a lot of skullduggery is in progress at most government ministries – the Ministry of Finance in particular.They are in the process of falsifying documents such as the backdating of accounts of shady transactions and much more. The delay tactics is to give them time to somehow overhaul the damage already done in their heist of the country in those corruption scandals. But this is a Herculean task, as time is of great essence; nevertheless, they persist.As we say in Guyanese creole, “Is you who knock me first,” but that is okay. However, when the last lick comes up, don’t act surprised and foolish when those hidden acts are revealed, all those who are to be prosecuted will be prosecuted. I rest my case.Respectfully,Neil Adamslast_img read more

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GPHC, Public Health Ministry wrong

first_imgDear Editor,Individuals and organisations, including the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), are demanding there be an independent investigation in the deaths of three children at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). This demand is the right thing and an independent investigation should have been convened automatically, in accordance with standard protocols for the death of any child, under any circumstance. It is egregious that the GPHC is investigating itself. It is worrisome that the public and political parties must intervene and demand an independent investigation.The call for an independent investigation reflects the public outrage surrounding the deaths of three children at the GPHC. The GPHC continues to hide behind the refrain that they are investigating the deaths. The Minister and the Public Health Ministry, after more than a week of deafening silence, finally held a private media conference with a hand-picked reporter. She finally expressed condolences to the affected families and expressed satisfaction that GPHC is investigating the deaths. I am flabbergasted that the GPHC, the Public Health Ministry or the Public Health Minister seem oblivious that they are violating standard protocols.The present management of the GPHC clearly does not seem to be aware of the standard protocols for how the death of a child must be handled. These protocols were established as part of the Ministry of Health Act. The Public Health Ministry similarly appears to have forgotten what these protocols are. The Senior Minister of Public Health, Ms Volda Lawrence, is guilty of not being aware of the protocols and oblivious of her responsibility to ensure these protocols are rigidly applied. Now that PAHO has become engaged, I am hopeful that PAHO will remind them of those protocols. Guyana introduced a standard protocol more than a decade ago to ensure that the death of every child is investigated, not as an option, but an obligation.I was the Minister when the protocols were implemented. The protocols require an immediate report of the death of any child, no matter what the circumstances might have been, whether it was a preventable death or a non-preventable death. Every child death must be reported by the institution or the healthcare provider involved within 24 hours to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) whose responsibility it is to inform the Minister. The institution where the death occurred or where the child is taken must investigate the death without any delay and submit a report to the CMO within forty-eight hours. The Ministry has seven days to examine the institutional report and make further queries and then initiate an independent investigation if the Ministry deems it necessary. This protocol, therefore, avoids the hospital or doctors investigating themselves, thus avoiding any conflict of interest.Three children are dead and at the centre of the outrage are questions about the medicines used and how those medicines might have been administered. The GPHC only agreed to start an investigation after the parents expressed their fears that their children might have died, not from their illnesses, but from matters relating to the care they were receiving at the GPHC. Let me reiterate – I have always believed that healthcare providers always want to do the very best they can to provide quality care to the persons they care for. Still, something went wrong that led to the death of three children and there is suspicion relating to the safety of the medicines and how they were used.An independent investigation should have been immediately initiated, in accordance with the standard protocols. There was no need for anyone to demand an investigation. The fact that almost two weeks later, the GPHC insists it is still investigating and that the Minister has the temerity to tell the nation after almost two weeks of silence that the GPHC should be allowed to complete its investigation is a violation of the protocols and adds to the outrage surrounding the deaths of these children. What is more appalling is that the Minister and the GPHC are seeking praise for the inappropriate investigation being conducted. An independent investigation is what is required and the GPHC, the Public Health Ministry and the Minister have no say in this matter – it is required in accordance with standard protocol.At the time those protocols were introduced, the intention was clear – the death of every child requires an investigation so that we could learn lessons and work towards no repetition of whatever might be the weaknesses in the healthcare system. The GPHC was required to submit a report of its findings for each death within 48 hours and the Public Health Ministry was required to start an independent investigation which should have been completed already.When the institutions are investigating themselves, usually it is a dead end. Two examples will suffice. Around July 2017 a three-year-old died, after a yo-yo management between GPHC and a private institution. The GPHC insisted they were investigating. The Public Health Ministry said they were awaiting the GPHC report. On September 3, 2017, a one-month-old child died at the GPHC. The parents insisted the child died because of an overdose of antibiotics. Again, the GPHC and the Ministry insisted that the GPHC was conducting a thorough investigation. The nation is still awaiting those reports. Those investigations actually died a natural death.The fact that the standard protocol is not being used either means that there is a frightening ignorance of these protocols or that there is an ulterior motive.Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammylast_img read more

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Courage, vision of JJ and BJ: Guyana now officially an oil-producing country

first_imgDear Editor,According to a release from ExxonMobil and a statement from the Energy Department, Guyana, as of December 20, 2019, is now officially an oil-producing country. This is a proud moment for all Guyanese. This is a moment that can transform our country, bringing socio-economic benefits for all Guyanese. The possibilities are endless. In spite of many misgivings, oil is undoubtedly good for Guyana. In spite of serious concerns, Exxon and the big oil companies flocking to Guyana are good for our country. There is no sure thing, but oil places Guyana in a position to propel itself into a high middle-income country immediately and the talk of being a developed country is no longer utopian rhetoric. Sure, oil by itself is not going to make these possibilities real. Many other things will have to fall in place, but Guyana has its best shot of achieving its “El Dorado” destiny at this very moment. We will either grab the opportunity and seize the possibilities or we will damn ourselves.We did not reach this fork in the road by accident. We got here because two momentous decisions were made in the last two decades. The first was made by Janet Jagan (JJ). When JJ agreed to solicit and encourage big oil to explore seriously in Guyana’s waters, it was a decision she made against her own lifetime distrust of big oil and big multinational corporation. But she was convinced that among Guyana’s natural resources was an oil resource and she persuaded herself that only big oil could confirm that such a resource existed. Her own ideology and make-up, her own determination that Guyana must own and benefit from its resources made it difficult for a decision to provide enough incentives for big oil to be interested.I know. After dealing with her Cabinet and her party executives, she often talked to me about her concerns and misgivings. But in the end, she made a decision, difficult for her, but one she had to make in the interest of Guyana. Many commentators, some of whom today are basking in the glory of oil, denounced and blasted her decision. After oil findings were confirmed beginning in March 2015, these same commentators were ugly in denouncing the exploration agreements, condemning the concessions provided to Exxon and big oil. But without the exploration agreements in 1999 and what some considered as generous incentives, Guyana would not have been an official oil-producing country today.The second momentous decision that contributed to Guyana today being an oil-producing country is the decision made by Bharat Jagdeo (BJ) after Suriname attacked with its gunboats an oil exploration team from CGX in the deep sea in 2002. The then President BJ decided in April 2004, with total backing from his Cabinet, to approach the International Tribunal on the Laws of the Sea under the UNCLOS treaty for a decision to confirm Guyana’s maritime borders in Guyana’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), using the formula of the Laws of the Seas. The laws and the treaty agreed to by virtually all countries, including Guyana and Suriname, under the UNCLOS, determined how rights in the seas and oceans and national EEZs are determined. Guyana was always convinced that our borders and rights to the seas and our EEZ were in accordance with the UNCLOS laws and agreements. Suriname sought to interpret those laws differently to expand its rights to maritime hydrocarbon resources.It was a difficult decision to place our destiny in the hands of an international court, but Bharat Jagdeo displayed the courage and the vision necessary to do so. He chose legal recourse over a military confrontation. This decision built on the platform JJ created by issuing exploration agreements with big oil. Guyana won that case when the International Tribunal ruled in 2007 and the opportunities to explore for hydrocarbons exploded. The decision to approach the International Tribunal was not based only on the Suriname attack on CGX, it was based on decades of Suriname refusing to honour mutual agreements on the use of the sea by the two countries. The approach to the international court was a risky one and many commentators had misgivings. In the end, Guyana won that case and removed all uncertainties for exploration in Guyana’s seas.Some will argue that the 2004 approach to the international judiciary and its 2007 decision have nothing to do with the Exxon exploration and discovery because the Exxon fields are well away from the limits of Guyana’s EEZ. But the UNCLOS approach demonstrated that Guyana and her leaders had the courage to defend itself and its resources and this provided confidence for the big investors to explore knowing that Guyana will not be cowered into not issuing exploration and production licenses.For those who think it is impossible for our politicians to work together, consider this. In 2004, when BJ announced Guyana was going to the International Tribunal of the UNCLOS, the then PNC gave unconditional support, even if privately some expressed doubts. When Guyana, through the APNU/AFC Government, approached the ICJ to defend the integrity of our borders with Venezuela, the Opposition PPP declared unconditional support. There is still hope that our politicians can work together for the benefit of Guyana.These two courageous and visionary decisions play a pivotal role in Guyana finally joining the ranks of oil-producing countries. Other persons played a role. President Donald Ramotar provided support and encouragement during the initial exploration drills that finally led to the April 2015 confirmation that oil was present in commercial levels in Guyana. The transformation of the exploration agreements into production agreements was eventually signed in 2016 by President Granger. Mistakes have been made, but Guyana is now an oil-producing country.On paper, Guyana is about to become one of the richest countries in the world. Our GDP is about to almost double from about US$4500 to more than US$9000 per capita and overall from about US$5 billion to almost US$10 billion annually. Transparent and accountable management of the oil resources can lead to socio-economic transformation. Those in charge of these resources now must acknowledge we begin life as an oil-producing country with some serious missteps which have to be corrected. Those who will be in charge in the future must be guided by the principle that oil resources must reach the most vulnerable in our country. While international oil companies are sure to get richer, Guyana must ensure all of our people benefit meaningfully from oil and not only a handful. It is times like these when the courage and vision of those who made this happen must be acknowledged. In this regard, the two momentous decisions by JJ and BJ have brought us to this transformative moment.Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammylast_img read more

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But more work needs to be done on Govt level – US report

first_imgSignificant strides made in TIPWhile the Guyana Government continues to make “significant” efforts to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, there is much more to be done especially in the area of specialising officers to detect Trafficking In Persons (TIP) victims.This is according to the US Department of State Trafficking in Person 2016 Report, which was published on Thursday and which placed Guyana at Teir 2 on their Watch List.According to the report, “The Government did not provide anti-trafficking training for its diplomatic personnel.”Moreover, it was noted that while the Government significantly increased its number of labour inspections, the number of labour trafficking investigations did not significantly increase. The report disclosed that some 15 trafficking cases involving 56 victims, including 16 children, were investigated and resulted in seven prosecutions and one sex trafficking conviction. This is compared to seven investigations, four prosecutions and one conviction for the previous reporting period.In the one conviction case, the defendant was sentenced in 2015 to three years’ imprisonment and unlike defendants convicted in previous years, was denied post-conviction bail. Also for the first time, she was required to pay restitution to the victim.At least one of the defendants in an ongoing prosecution was released on bail pending the outcome of her trial. In response to calls received by the trafficking hotline, Government officials conducted raids on mining and logging areas outside of the capital. It is unclear if authorities removed any victims from exploitative situations or initiated any trafficking investigations as a result of these raids.Moreover, it outlined that Government further increased collaboration with anti-trafficking Non-Governmenal Organisations (NGO) by instituting procedures to refer victims to the shelter and including a leading anti-trafficking NGO on its inter-ministerial anti-trafficking taskforce.However, the US State Department report pointed out that Government maintained efforts to prevent trafficking. Guyana’s newly elected Government reformed the anti-trafficking inter-ministerial taskforce in January 2016, before the reformation; however, the taskforce was inactive for eight months and did not make efforts to implement the 2014-2015 national action plan.“The Government did not allocate additional personnel to the severely understaffed anti-trafficking unit to facilitate trafficking investigations, nor did it increase protection and services for victims outside the capital or participating in investigations against their traffickers,” the report mentioned.It was further observed that while Government drafted, it did not finalise an action plan to combat trafficking. It conducted a variety of awareness-raising activities, including campaigns to sensitise civilians and law enforcement in the mining and logging sectors outside the capital. The Government operated a trafficking hotline but did not report how many calls it received. The Government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labour the report noted.Meanwhile, Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence, in commenting on the improved status on the TIP Watch List, told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that TIP is “slavery as part of economic ventures and this Government, through its various arms, will fight vigorously such attempts and will join forces with like-minded persons, organisations and governments to stop vulnerable persons from falling into the hands of such perpetrators.On the other hand, Coordinator of the Counter-Trafficking Department at the Ministry, Tanisha Williams-Corbin, also remarked to GINA that “the improved status is encouraging. Being off the Watch List is a vindication of our efforts to counter Trafficking in Persons, especially those efforts to bring greater awareness about TIP and to have increased prosecution of TIP cases.”last_img read more

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Sister slapped with manslaughter charge

first_imgEssequibo sibling stabbing… released on $400,000 bailLuck was on the side of 24-year-old Stephney Lawrie, known as “Stacy”, of Lot 2 Better Success, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), when she was granted bail for allegedly killing her brother during an argument. She made her first appearance before Magistrate Sunil Scarce on Tuesday, at the Anna Regina Magistrate’s Court.Stephney LawrieDressed in a blue top and blue jeans, the accused appeared saddened while standing in the dock. She was not required to plea to the indictable charge of manslaughter.The Police allege that on August 25, at Lot 2 Better Success, Stephney Lawrie unlawfully killed her brother, Maxton Orlando Lawrie.During the bail application, her Attorney Latchmin Dindyal, told the court that the accused is a single mother of a five-year-old and is not a flight risk. He told the court that his client never had any brushes with the law. He also informed the court that Stephney Lawrie was hospitalised for the injuries she received during the ordeal, and that she is presently receiving treatment at the Suddie Public Hospital. There were visible black and blue marks on the accused right arm.Prosecutor Haimraj Ramsewack had no objections to bail, but requested for conditions to be attached if bail was granted.In responding, Magistrate Sunil Scarce reminded that the allegation against Lawrie was a serious one. He however granted bail in the sum of $400,000, taking into consideration the nature of the incident.Additionally, Lawrie is required to surrender her passport and report to the Sergeant at the Charity Police Station every Wednesday and Saturday.Relatives and friends of the Lawrie family were present in court. The accused is expected to return to court in September.The entire Better Success village was thrown into deep mourning after the news of the incident surfaced. Prior to the accused’s appearance in court, she had confessed to Police to stabbing her brother in self defence. It is alleged that on August 24, 2016, the deceased went home under the influence of alcohol and started an argument with family members.During the argument, he cuffed his father to his right eye and then proceeded to his sister’s room armed with a knife. When the defendant opened the door, her brother started to verbally abuse her. He then tried to harm her with the knife, and it was at this point that she reportedly stabbed him. He succumbed while on his way to the Suddie Public Hospital.The autopsy conducted by Government Pathologist, Dr Bridgemohan revealed that the victim died as a result of shock and haemorrhage due to the stab wound.last_img read more

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New Anti-Corruption Chair Seeks Collaboration with Media

first_imgThe Executive Chairperson of the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC), Cllr. James Nyepan Verdier, Jr. has expressed the need to collaborate with the media to effectively fight corruption in Liberia.The Liberia Anti Corruption Commission was created by an act of the Legislature in 2007, and came into force in 2008, with the aim of investigating and recording corruption cases carried out in the public sector and private institutions that receive public funding; it then forwards those connected to corruption to the Justice Ministry for prosecution.Cllr. Verdier, who walked into the offices of the Daily Observer on April 9, 2014, said that for the fight against corruption to succeed, LACC needs to liaise with the media in releasing available information to it or the media providing investigative information to the LACC.In a conversation with the Manager and Publisher of the Daily Observer, Cllr. Verdier indicated that more information to the public brings empowerment to the people, and the media—as disseminator of information— is important to the work of the LACC.“Publication from the media triggers investigation for the LACC, and therefore, we would like to have the cooperation of the media to help bring out investigative issues that we can dwell on to fight corruption.  We would also like to liaise with the media to acquaint journalists with our activities so they can best understand what we do in accordance with the act that created the LACC,” Cllr. Verdier said.He stressed that involvement of the media in the work of the LACC will help promote accountability that would enable Liberians to know how their resources are used.According to him, impunity has seriously undermined the Liberian society, and the only way this mindset can be broken is for two or more people to be prosecuted and made to bear the consequences of their actions to serve as a deterrent for others.Cllr. Verdier also noted that embezzlement of funds is not the only act of corruption, but abuse of office as well.He said many people in high offices use them (offices) to deprive subordinates of their rights, which are also acts of corruption.Welcoming the idea, the Manager and Publisher of the Daily Observer, Kenneth Y. Best, said the involvement of the media is a good thing; but there are challenges in getting the needed information from stakeholders most of the time.Mr. Best underscored that the media finds it difficult in many instances to get information because those concerned are not willing to provide it—sometimes for fear of reprisal or for the protection of their jobs.He also noted that the media, including the Daily Observer, has written several editorials informing the government about what it must do to set a good legacy, but the suggestions are overlooked and trashed out.Despite the challenge, Mr. Best said the idea is quite welcoming and hoped the collaboration would make a mark in the fight against the rampant corruption that has engulfed the society.The Liberia Anti Corruption Commission has been seen as a symbolic institution since it came into force in 2008.There was a public perception that it would serve as an important instrument for curbing and prosecuting corrupt officials; but its mandate to investigate and forward cases to the Justice Ministry for prosecution brought a lukewarm feeling in many people.Moreover, since its establishment—headed first by Cllr. Frances Johnson-Allison—prosecution has been very slow, with many challenging the LACC when they are called for investigation.According it its achievement record, the LACC had on separate occasions recommended for prosecution, former Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) Chairperson Albert Bropleh and the Central Bank of Liberia and four other commercial banks.Though Bropleh was arrested, investigated, and found guilty, the public is yet to know what penalty he bore as a result of his action.Collaboration between the Media and LACC, though essential, the public for which the information is intended will develop interest only if cases are prosecuted and convicted persons are penalized for their actions, it was agreed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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To help spread messages about Ebola, Community Radios Receive 1,448 Fuel Coupons

first_imgThe Grand Coalition of Liberian Organizations (GRANDCOALIO), a group comprises over 200 organizations in Liberia has presented 1,448 gallons of fuel coupons to community across Liberia to help with propagation of messages against the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.The organization in addition to the coupons also turned over 25 bags of rice with cans and boxes of juice to meet the needs of health workers in isolation camps due to the Ebola outbreak.Making the presentation on August 12, 2014 at the headquarters of the Liberian Business Association (LIBA), the head of the organization, Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. stressed that the fight against Ebola is not to be left with the Government alone, but collaborative efforts of all Liberians.He said the media being a major partner in the fight must be capacitated to give the message out as it has been doing, and on the basis of this role media institutions play, the Grand Coalition of Liberian Organizations (GRANDCOALIO) saw it expedient to give the fuel coupons to empower functional community radios to help propagate the information.Mr. Kemayah went further to state that the outbreak of the Ebola virus is the first deadest in history, and that fighting it does not require Government alone but participations of all.He lauded the media for the work done over time since the outbreak, noting that media is an indispensable partner that must be empowered to reach the message to the people.In response to the gesture, Press Union of Liberia’s president, Kamara A. Kamara said the gesture was timely as many people call on them every day to asking for help to community radios build their capacity.Mr. Kamara noted that gesture by the Grand Coalition of Liberian organizations serves as sign that Liberia will be victorious in the fight against Ebola and that every person should follow warning messages provided the public.He urged reporters to report on the Ebola crisis in a balance way that areas and individuals affected will not be stigmatized.For National Health Workers leader, Joseph Tamba, he commended GRANDCOALIO for the assistance provided those in isolation camps and promised that they will work to ensure that in the next one month Ebola will be eradicated or suspected cases will be no more.He recalled that about eight health workers have died from the disease over the time.  He added that about 50 persons have survived from it, urging the public not to be afraid but to go along with the precautionary measures being publicized.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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OSIWA Donates US$7K Christmas Gifts to Ebola Orphans

first_imgThe Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has donated over US$ 7,000 worth of assorted items to at least 28 Ebola orphans as a way of celebrating the Christmas with them and giving hope to Ebola orphans in Liberia.The items, including 22 bags of rice, clothes and cooking oil were last Friday delivered to the orphans who are between the ages of 4 months and 17 years, residing in the Airfield community.The Country Director of OSIWA, Massa Crayton, said the donation is not only a part of her organization’s efforts to restore hope to children who are affected by the epidemic but that survivors, mainly orphans, should be well taken care of and embraced in the society because they are heroes of the Ebola crisis.“This donation is to help our children smile and feel the spirit of Christmas like they had in other times with their parents,” the OSIWA boss said.She disclosed that OSIWA plans to provide packages for survivors, especially when schools resume adding that there will be measures put in place to give extra care to the orphans.Narrating his story at the ceremony was Ebola survivor Ishmael Nuah: “I am Ishmael Nuah, 10 years old. I got infected by Ebola when I visited my aunty in Red Hill Field community. My aunty got sick and died. I was later taken to the Ebola center for treatment and God healed me. I want to be a medical doctor to help sick children, too.”Also speaking, Mr. Uriah Kear, a representative of the Ministry of Health said the government remains committed and will support the survivors and orphans.He called on non-government organizations to follow in the footsteps of OSIWA, helping to provide support for Ebola survivors.The president of the Ebola Survivors Association (ESA), Mr. Korlia Bunarwolo, thanked OSIWA for the gift items and its continued support, describing organization as an example of a real humanitarian foundation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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