Monday, October 26, 2009

AACC Hosts Youth, Climate Change Dialogue

On Saturday, October 24, 2009, the Action Against Climate Change (AACC) Liberia held a climate dialogue with youths as well as other development organization in preparation for the Copenhagen climate conference which will commence on December 6, 2009 in Germany.
Speaking during the introduction of the program in the reading room of the Liberia Resource center (LRC), Mr. Yurfee Shaikerlee, Director of AACC, said the change of climate is real, though it may not be felt in Liberia as much as it is in other countries, but there are storms and floods that have devastated many countries around Liberia.
He stressed other climate change effects such as drought and famine which last week compelled Ethiopia to ask food of the United Nations (UN) for about 6.2 million of its citizens.
He further added that the advocacy for climate change is not a new thing, it started since the 90s up to date and it is still our hands and they will go to Copenhagen and tell the world leaders to cut emission.
“We are facing the impact just as other countries, it may not be as severe as theirs, but the conference is coming up in December. There’s going to be a lot of talking with world leaders and organizations and we supposed to be there too. And we will be telling them that we want people to stop heavy pollution,” Shaikerlee said.
He pointed out that if people are adding pollutants to climate change is like shifting a matter from worse to ridiculous.
“We just got through with a case that we’ve been involved with firestone, there’s a community that people have died, that a child was born with one arm and we’ve been into that talking about that pollution.
Climate change, when people are adding to it, is like adding gasoline or anything flammable to cut a fire out and burn the house,” he said.
He said that AACC wants people to stop doing that and urged industrial nations which are heavy pollutants to cut down some of the things that they are doing.
Also addressing the students at the program, Madame Rosemary Ernie, of the society for women empowerment education and training (SWEET), working along side AACC said that climate is one of the biggest challenges humanity is facing or have ever faced.
She said that Liberia like any other country in African country those not bear the causes of climate change because emission is very low in Liberia but the problem is being caused by advance countries like the USA, Japan, China and India among others.
“but we can not sit back and say that because they are the ones causing the problem then we have something to do; we have our part to play. Because even here if we look around our waste management is poor,” Madame Ernie said.
She further said that China and India are shifting blames of the climate change we face today on those industrialized nations during the industrial revolution.
Another speaker, Heather Cannon-Winkelman, doing research in Liberia, said that the Liberian forest have reduce from 90 percent land coverage to less than 50 percent land coverage with in five decades.
She said that this reduction was done because a lot of people have coal pot to cook with so they needed char coal.
“960,000 trees are being cut down every year just for those type purposes. That what is happening,” she said.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Culture Village Ground Breaks

Bong County Senator Franklin Siakor, on Tuesday September 29 broke Ground in Dimeh Bomi County, for a construction of a culture village in honor of Liberia’s Culture Legend the late Bai T. Moore.
Doing the ceremony the Youthful senator remanded Liberian of their compulsion in upholding their cultural heritage.
He recounted the efforts and contributions of the late Bai T. Moore in promoting and educating the young people of Liberia about their cultural heritage of the country.
He made an initial contribution of 20 bags of cement and urged Liberians to contribute massively to the realization of the project.
Senator Siakor also appealed to Liberians throughout the country to practice their own culture because according to him it is a symbol of unity.
For his part Momo Rogers’s former deputy Minister of Information Culture and Tourism, currently serving as deputy Minister of State for Presidential Affairs hailed the late Bai T Moore as one of the finest spices the country could boost of in the history of the country.
Mr. Rogers lauded the work of the former deputy Minister of Information culture and research Bai T. Moore for his remarkable role played in the area of cultural research at the Ministry of information. He also made a contribution of US$200 for the construction of the Culture Village in honor of the late culture hero of the country. “The late Bai T. Moore was more then a father to me while he was serving the information Ministry of Information in 1979,” Mr. Rogers averred in a passionate tone.
Making remarks, the wife of the late Bai T. Moor, Gillian Lorba Moore thanked everyone for recognizing the sacrifice her late husband made to the country in the areas of culture. She added by saying: “thank you for leaving your basic schedules to be a part of this ground breaking ceremony; it signifies that those who work harder will surely be appreciated for their works.”

LNP Override Court’s Jurisdiction

Authorities at the Liberian National Police (LNP), a subset of the Ministry of Justice responsible to combat crimes in the country, have themselves been brought to the spotlight for defying the orders of the Monrovia City Court, after a verdict against the illegal search of Nigerian house.
Judge Nelson Chineh of the Monrovia City court, in a ruling brought down on July 28, 2009 he sustained that the properties of Michael Efe Igho the defendant were seized illegally and should therefore be turned over to him.
The home of defendant Igho was ‘illegally’ allegedly searched on the 20th of July 2009 by Sam Gaballah, Raffel A. Wilson one Issac and others to be identified all being Officers of LNP and away US$2,650, one brand new apache motorbike valued US$1,600 and at least 14,000 Euros after they had gone to effectuate an arrest of alleged burglary committed by the Defendant.
Lead defense Lawyer Cllr. Emmanuel B. James had argued before the court that his Client’s home was illegally searched and properties seized in violation of the Constitution, which is the organic law of the land.
Cllr. James told the court that his Client’s rights was violated by the officers who raided the house without search warrant, searching and snatching away property and money without respect to the rule of law.
The prosecution had also argued that the action of the LNP was not a violation of any statue. The prosecution represented by City Solicitor Sam T. Solomon indicated before the court that the LNP had gone to the home of the defendant in ‘Hot’ pursuit of an alleged criminal who had committed the act of burglary on the premises of Eddie Textile situated at Waterside, the City of Monrovia. The prosecution further denied in total the submission of the defendant about properties seized from his home.
After entertaining arguments from both sides Judge Nelson B. Chineh in his final ruling said: “these are the contentions of the parties before this court, which required passing for the settlement of this information.”
The Judge further added: “let us first look at what the constitution has to say; article 21 sub-paragraph B. of the 1986 constitution states, “ No person shall be subject to search and seizure of his person or property, whether on a criminal charge or for any purpose unless upon warrant lawfully issued upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation.”
The judge further intimated that for the fact that the police did not proceed to the Defendant’s resident on the same day or the day after prior to the commission of the crime the prosecution’s assertion that it had gone in ‘Hot’ pursuit of the defendant was also a violation of the laws of the state.
Chineh indicated that even if the LNP had gone to the Defendant’s home with a search warrant the court is the legal arm in a trial that is clothed with the authority to keep or possess the properties of the Defendant.
“Wherefore, and in view of the foregoing, it is holding of this court that the information field by the informant before this court, be and same is hereby sustained in part,” the judge averred.
“The state is hereby ordered to return to this court all properties all properties seized from the informant, who is believed to be in connection to the burglary case. As those items which have no bearing on the burglary case in connection with the police findings must be returned to the person from whom it was seized and is hereby so ordered.”
Since the ruling of the Court and evident by a letter from the court to the minister of Justice the LNP had failed to adhere and respect same.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Narcotics Ghettos Overwhelms Monrovia

Despite the danger it poses on the health and thoughts of many youngsters, narcotics are flowing on the Liberian street especially in central Monrovia where a higher lever of national security offices is concentrated.
The problem of drug abuse in Liberia goes beyond just the users. Farmers are tempted to grow cannabis rather than other crops because profits are higher and the drug can be trafficked relatively easily throughout the region, 100km and 150km from Monrovia.
The Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) in June of this year simultaneously disposed of a huge consignment of narcotic drugs valued over L$24million in the 15 political sub-division of the country.
In April of this year, DEA agents in Greenville, Sinoe County accused some law enforcement officers in the county of aiding drug traffickers.
Apart from the cannabis grown in rural Liberia other synthetic drugs such as cocaine, Italian White, Dugee, morphine among others are found on the streets of Monrovia.
Some of the areas pin-pointed for harboring narcotics Ghetto include trench town, Mechlin street, the west point, the redlight and center street where the ghetto is located not more than 25 kilometer away from the police metro one depot.
Information gathered in the area indicated that the police and the drugs dealers in central Monrovia are in a very close tie and ghettos hardly get raid.

According to an informant, who preferred anonymity, the only time ghettos get raided is when an order is issued from headquarters for a general raid which last took place in January of this year.
Besides the general raid, the police often visit some of the ghettos on Self Interest Operations SIOs at which time the narcotics dealers organized some funds for them.
For the ghetto at center street there is more than one dealer. Each of these dealers operates on certain day of the week in other to get their product going.
At least the lowest as amount paid for a piece of crack is settle at an amount of 280 Liberian dollars a piece.

60 Health Practitioners Get Neonatal Training

The ministry of health in collaboration with the Latter-Day Saints Charities yesterday began a two day Mid-level Neonatal resuscitation training in order to reduce the higher rates of maternal death as well as neonatal death.
The workshop was stage at the latter-day saints church on the Horton avenue opposite St. Simon Baptist school.
According to the Ministry’s director of family health services, Dr. Saye D. Bawoo, the rate of neonatal death remains high in Liberia and the training was aimed at preparing up to 60 health practitioners.
“In spite of the global decline we are experiencing in less than five mortality rates, neonatal mortality rate remains unchanged. Neonatal mortality constitute about two-third of the deaths that occurred in infants,” he said.
He pointed out that infection which constitutes 47%, Births at home contributing 29% and premature birth accounting for 24% of neonatal mortality in Liberia.
The infections that bring about neonatal mortality according to Dr. Bawoo include tetanus, pneumonia and diarrhea among others.
Dr. Bernice Dawn also speaking at the training workshop said that the participants in the work shop would be assigned at about health facilities around the country.
She rated the maternal mortality as ratio 10 deaths to every 1,000 women that give birth and neonatal mortality is three times more at 32 deaths to every 1000 infants that are delivered.
She urged the participant to be agents of change to reduce the mortalities rate in the country.
She said that the training will help take the task from the traditional mid wives to professions adding that there would be mentors assign to each of the trainees to help them to cope up with the training they would receive.
Meanwhile, the Latter-day Charities, facilitators of the training, said that at the end of the training each of the participants will be presented resuscitation kit.
One importance of the resuscitation training is that many at times when babies are bore there can be fluid in the air way which could be fatal leading to death.

ILFS Call on India to Grant Medical Aids

The Indo-Liberia Friendship Society (ILFS) on Friday, September 18, 2009 called on the Indian Government through its Minister of State for External Affairs Dr. Shashi Tharoor, to see reasons to established a modernized Hospital in the country help solve complicated medical problems.
Since the armed struggle which plague the country for about fourteen years, residents of Liberia have been seeking adequate medical services abroad due to the break down of advance equipment to deal with such ills.
Therefore, the ILFS president madam Marpu P.Z. Dhaliwal, seized the opportunity at the welcoming ceremony of the Indian parliament man held at the resident of the Indian consulate to called on the Indian government to not only established a hospital but to also provide physicians to be assigned to other hospitals in the country.
According to madam Dhaliwal, Liberia over the years had offered Indians a second home to be proud of. She acknowledged the cordial and friendly relationship between the two countries with the hope that the visit of an Indian high-powered delegate to the country would cement the already existent friendship and open new areas of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
“Mr. Minster, we are aware that India is far ahead in the production of pharmaceuticals which Liberia needs at the moment. We are also aware that 73% of doctors in the United States of America are of Indian origin. It is our hope that in the spirit of South-South Cooperation, Indian doctors and medical support will be sent to Liberia as matter of top priority,” she said.
She warns of malaria saying that malaria is one of the deadliest killer diseases in the world, Malaria is prevalent in Liberia.
“India has produced medicine that cures malaria. We therefore, appeal for Indian malaria experts to be sent here to deal with this malaria epidemic in the country,” Madam Dhaliwal Said.
a member of Parliament and Minister of State for External Affairs of India made history on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 when he became the first high-profile Indian government official to visit Liberia in 40 years, even though the two countries have enjoyed cordial bilateral ties for so many years. Dr. Tharoor, a very humble and simple gentleman, does not display the hot air of power that he wields, but he is no small power broker in the world's largest democracy. The soft-spoken Minister met a cross-section of top Indian businessmen at a private dinner tendered in his honor by the Honorary Consul General of India, Upjit Singh Sachdeva, at his residence in the diplomatic enclave of Mamba Point in Monrovia. The august visitor exhorted Liberians to lift their economy by importing some of India's technology into the country. He said India would assist the Liberian Government based on the Government's own agenda for assistance and promised that his government would assist Liberia in easing some of her land transport needs. The Honorary Consul General earlier recounted Indian businessmen's contribution to the Liberian economy and the cordial ties they enjoy with the Liberian authorities. He also called for more Indian investment in the country as, according to him, Liberia is a good place for doing business.

Fuamah Rioters to Face Prosecution

The youths residing in Faumah District in Bong County who staged a violent demonstration on Wednesday, September 16, 2009, in which the Liberian Flag (Lone Star) was brought down and allegedly burnt are expected to face court prosecution in November on several charges including robbery and crime against the state.
According to earlier reports, the rioters were demanding accountability from the district authorities for funds that they have generated over the years from the flourishing scrap business that has been ongoing in the area as well as the county’s development funds.
During the riot, the Fuamah youths brought down three of the country’s from the offices of the commissioner, the clan chief and the paramount chief; a action describe by the police Inspector, Ebenezer R. Coleman, as a first degree felony that could result in violators facing firing squad.
The latest riot in the district claimed the attention of some of the county authorities in a rather negative way including the chairman of the Bong County legislative caucus, Rep. George Mulbah who believed that the youths should not go with impunity.
He thereby alleged that the Fuamah youths attack on the state was becoming habitual pointing back to 2008; when the youths arrogantly burnt down the then newly renovated police station in the area.
“They are not going to get away with this act this time, but will be brought to justice for their actions,” he asserted.
However, The Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) has reportedly accused some of the local authorities including Representative, George Mulbah; District Commissioner, Nathaniel A. Carter and Police Inspector, Ebenezer R. Coleman for allegedly brutalizing several youths belonging to its Bong Mines youth secretariat on
Meanwhile, the Youth Chairman of Fuamah, John G. Monroe, whom along with other youths was imprisoned for four days pending trail, spoke with the Daily Observer on Monday, September 28, 2009 via phone about the pending prosecution.
According to him they have a bond up to November 9, 2009 when they should be facing the magisterial court in Gbarnga on charges of robbery and contempt.

‘Nourishing the fragile Peace’

The Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) boss Dr. Benjamin Lartey on Monday urged every Liberian to become an ambassador of peace in order to nourish the ‘Fragile’ peace that exist in Liberia.
He said this at the indoor ceremony of the observance of the international day of peace stage at the Monrovia city
The Civil Peace Service-Liberia celebrated the third Liberian Day of Peace today as many other countries in the world, Liberians on this very day came together to celebrate the ongoing peace process in their country.
This observance is the third of its kind in Liberia since the International Day of Peace was established by the U.N. General Assembly in 1981 for the “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and people.”
In 2001, the General Assembly decided that the 21st of September would be observed annually as a “day of global ceasefire and non-violence" thereby inviting all Member States, organizations and individuals to commemorate the day, including thorough education and public awareness.
The day was thereby been proclaimed by the President of the Republic of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to be observed through out the country.
The program was observed by members of the civil society as well students who paraded the principle streets of Monrovia and concluded the observance at the Monrovia city hall where students, civil groups took place in two fashions the celebrations started at 8.00h with a parade from the Ministry of Education to the City Hall in Monrovia.
Mr. Lancedell Mathews, Coordinator for the Civil Peace Service Liberia, gave an introduction for the day. After that representatives from the Liberian Ministry of Education, the united Nation Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), members of the civil society, the Liberian Peace Fund and some schools from Monrovia gave their "Wishes for Peace" in Liberia.
The indoor observance was spiced up with a documentary on the Liberian civil war title “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”, which was aimed at sensitizing the young students that was generally fervent to understand the message that was being passed on.
The documentary according to some of the students taught how brutal war can be especially to non-combatants who were disadvantaged during the Liberians.
Some said that they wish that Liberia will know war no more because war has cause them to be overlooked in our global village as barbarians of the ancient times.
The program had a 10 minuets break for a moment of silence for the Liberian that have fallen during the countries civil crises during which time the “peace candles” were lit and held up by individuals in the hall.
Speaking at the program the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) boss Dr. Benjamin Lartey urged every Liberian to become an ambassador of peace in order to nourish the ‘Fragile’ peace that exists in Liberia.
In an interview with a team of journalist, Dr. Lartey added that Liberians most unite in order to nourish the peace that many have fallen for and the observance of the International Day of Peace is a reminder of where we have passed to enjoy this peace we are now enjoying.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

AACCL Observes Global Climate Week

The issue of climate change effect the world over the years has prompted many nations to get involve in the establishment of environmental clubs in order to sensitizer people of the emission of green house gases which tend to trigger a higher rate of nature disasters.
AACCL on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 visited several schools in Monrovia planting trees as well as educating students on the devastating effects of global warming and it causes.
This observance started on Monday, September 21, 2009 and have been named by the United Nations as The Global Climate Week coincide with the UN's Secretary-General's High Level Summit on Climate Change on 22 September 2009.
Global Climate Week aims at uniting efforts, whether individual or collective, calling for urgent action to combat climate change – the greatest challenge of our time. UN urges that Cities, organizations, groups and individuals are invited to mobilize their networks and join the effort.
This important week and the lead-up weekend will be marked by synchronized activities in more than 100 cities to urge world leaders to seal a fair and effective climate agreement at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen this December.

Go Slow Hits ELWA Hospital

Workers of the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) Hospital located on the Roberts field highway on Friday September 4, 2009 morning stage a go slow in relation to an expected employment of a Nigerian national as a supervisor of the hospital.
The go slow lasted from the early morning hours up about 12:30 P.M at which time many patience were not being attended to.
Minister. Kedrick White, Executive Director (ED) of the ELWA, then called an emergency meeting in to discourse the issue of bringing a Nigerian, identify as Hawa Sarwah to supervise the workers; journalists were banded from attending the meeting.
After the hour plus meeting, Minister White spoke to the media present on their progress with the workers at the hospital.
He said that they facing difficulties with many factors such as authorities, proceedings, procedure consultations and how to run and operate ELWA.
According to the excusive director, the hospital will host a one week meeting be to him the staff need to made knowledgeable of different positions hiring and processes among others that can be misunderstand.
He further added that the decision to host a one week meeting is to dialogue with the staffs over their current grievances for a liberalize ELWA to the Liberian Public.
Meanwhile, the staff representative, Jadeh Gesenius Gbablo, speaking to his fellow reluctant comrades about the out come of the meeting said that Minister White wanted for all workers to list the opinions on problems that they have being face with and channel it through three representative.
However, some of the Nurses raised qualms over representation of the entire staff by only three persons, especially in time like these. Mr. Gbablo responded to their say that their words are not the gospel and appealed to them to take up their working and go back to work.
Many of the staff show off reluctance to the appeal and slowly move toward their respective offices in a hope that the seven days cooling off dialogue will solve their many grievances which have haunted them over the years.

Bong Mines Youth Thirst for Justice

The youths of the one time, Bong Mines Company (BMC) that was operating in the west African state of Liberia have been face with series of problems. the rights of the youths are been infringed on by the local authorities as well as the scraping company that is operating in the area.
 Ihe scrape company which is in partnershiip with a british owned company known as horizons, has been scraping every structure of the bogn mines company and ship abroad thereby leaving the facility to be as i fa ghost town.
In September of 2009, the British prepierator, Hans Armstrong used tear gas grenade aginst the local there by injuring their eyes severely. he was then to appear in court but used his monetary might and call the case off to the Provencal city of gbarnga where the case is still pending investigation.

Presidential Task Force Dissolved

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dissolved the controversial task force under Madam Mary Broh, the embattled Acting City Mayor of Monrovia, for apparently flexing her muscle after a brief clash with Muslims who were breaking their day-long fast over the weekend.
The incident on Benson Street provoked an uproar among Muslims and some Christians who described the Mayor’s act of using baton-carrying members of the task force to disrupt the traditional rituals of the fasting Muslims as ‘barbaric and ruthless’.
In the meantime, President Johnson Sirleaf has expressed disdain and repugnance over the action of Mary Broh when the latter ordered the Special Presidential Task Force to raid the area along the Benson Street Mosque in a routine clean-up exercise.
Presidential Press Secretary Cyrus Wleh Badio, quoting President Johnson Sirleaf, said the ‘uncalled for action’ of the Task Force, led by Madam Mary Broh, affected some members of the Muslim Community who were preparing to break their fast.
Badio made these disclosures yesterday at the Executive Mansion’s weekly news briefing held at the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.
According to him, the President has been identifying with Liberian Muslims by distributing rice to various mosques in Monrovia and its environs, as they celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan. But the incident on Saturday, August 29, 2009, threatened to overshadow that gesture.
At the same time, Badio said during a well-attended meeting with representatives of the Muslim Community and the National Muslim Caucus, President Johnson Sirleaf offered an apology for the incident.
The Liberian Chief Executive has also accepted a request for a meeting with representatives of Muslim groups in the country following the Fast Month.
Muslim leaders in the country have also requested a meeting with the President to discuss issues of concern.
Meanwhile, the Executive Mansion said President Sirleaf had dissolved the Broh-led Special Presidential Task Force with immediate effect. Madam Broh and her team had used the Force to demolish makeshift structures and market stalls to the discomfiture of their owners.
The Task Force, according to a briefing note issued by the Press Secretary’s Office, is not necessary; ‘now that the structure of the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) is in place’.
At the same time, eyewitnesses, in separate interviews with the Daily Observer on Monday, expressed dissatisfaction over the action of Madam Broh and the now disbanded Presidential Task Force, last Saturday, “when they wasted food and other eatables belonging to Muslims who were breaking their Fast”.
According to the eyewitnesses, the move of the Task Force provoked anger and annoyance from the Muslim Faithful, but the situation was swiftly and professionally put under control by gallant officers of the Liberia National Police who later arrived at the scene.
Other eyewitnesses said the action of the Presidential Task Force was aimed at discouraging indiscriminate throwing of waste materials near the Benson Street Mosque and other nearby areas where some of the fast breakers were seen throwing dirt onto the principal streets.
Others, too, are of the opinion that such an act was a potential source of violence; something, they say, Liberia, which has just graduated from 14 years of armed conflict with unimaginable negative impacts, was not prepared for.