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UNMIL Extends Operations to 2015

first_imgDue to the increase of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease in the country, the Special Representative to the Secretary General, Madam Karin Landgren, has disclosed that the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) will   continue its operations in the country until 2015 September and there will be no withdrawal now.According to Madam Landgren, the UN Mission will continue to carry out its duties by serving the Liberian people,  especially in the midst of the Deadly Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia.SRSG Landgren described the Deadly Ebola Virus Disease outbreak here as the greatest threat since the civil crisis.Madam Landgren made the disclosure in Monrovia following her regular Wednesday press conference held at the Headquarters of the UNMIL following her arrival from the Security Council.She said, UNMIL is serving as critical back up for Liberia’s security institutions and that UNMIL  and Military are on the standby when needed to respond to specific incidents  that tend to deteriorate beyond the capacity of Liberian authorities.She indicated that in line with the mission’s protection of Civilian’s mandate, UNMIL Police and Military are actively monitoring the deployment of their  national counterparts during the state of Emergency, including at checkpoints, and providing training and guidance on responsibilities regarding protection of Civilians.“UNMIL police and military will  support the planning and coordination of Liberian security institutions, the police, military and immigration, which are active in implementing Ebola control measures.  This will include  officer embedded within the Joint Command Centre.UNMIL police have also facilitated Ebola sensitization training for 500 officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Ebola Response Team ahead of their deployment to affected areas, and provided training materials to LNP and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization officers across the country through 29 UNPOL team sites,” Said Madam Landgren.The SRSG went on to say that the Mission is working with national counterparts to help mitigate the risk of Ebola outbreak in prisons, including by helping to reduce overcrowding through addressing the extremely high rates of pre-trial detention facilities.  The mission has also provided basic personal protective equipment, disenfectants and thermometers to all detention facilities through a Quick Impact Project. Discussing the UN Mission’s  effort to the fight against the Ebola Virus, she said the UNMIL Engineering Section is preparing ground for the construction of a 33,000m Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Monrovia and the mission is repairing the road and parking are for the National Emergency Operations Center in Monrovia.The mission, in addition, is constructing and providing emergency maintenance of roads leading to other ETUs and UNMIL-constructed holding facilities in Zwedru, Gbarnga and Voinjama.Recounting the Mission’s donation to the country, Madam Langren said these   include 30 vehicles from its fleet to the Government of Liberia for use in the fight against Ebola.  Twenty more vehicles are soon to be donated, she added.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

WHO Agrees to Failure in Managing Ebola?

first_imgThe World Health­ Organization (WHO) has admitted to failure in managing the recent scope of the Ebola outbreak and falling short of providing a quick and suitable response to countries affected by the disease.A broad range of factors including mismanagement, bureaucracy, underfunding, poor communication and incompetent healthcare staff are to blame for failing to stop the spread of the mortal disease, WHO said in a draft internal document which was leaked out on Friday October 17, 2014.The Internal Document was quoted as saying, “Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall.”According to the report, the WHO experts failed to realize that the traditional approaches to disease containment wound be of no substantial effect in Africa, which has for long been beset with a weak health system.Also, Dr. Peter Piot, the Ebola virus co-discoverer, lashed out at the WHO for responding too slowly to the epidemic which has so far claimed the lives of nearly 4,493 people all around the world, while more people have been infected.Questioning the performance of the agency,  Dr. Piot said, “Five months passed and more than 1,000 people lost their lives before WHO finally declared the deadly epidemic an international health emergency.”Earlier this week, the World Health Organization announced that Ebola’s infection rate was likely to exceed 10,000 new cases per week in the next two months, adding that the epidemic’s mortality rate had reached 70 percent.Ebola is a form of hemorrhagic fever whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding.The virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces or sweat. It can be also spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses. There is currently no known cure for Ebola.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

COYPED Wants Drug Abuse Combated

first_imgThe Consolidated Youth for Peace and Development (COYPED) has called on everyone to join effort in combating drug abuse in the country.Speaking last Friday at a program marking the celebration of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit trafficking held at the Y.M.C.A on Broad Street, James Koryor, COYPED Executive Director urged the government and stakeholders in the drug sector to save the younger generation from getting involved with harmful substances.Koryor underscored the need for young people to distance themselves from drugs. He disclosed that “a huge percentage of the young people have been affected by drug use in the country.”He called on the government to carve policies and deterrent measures for users and importers of drugs into the Liberia.He wants the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to partner with youth and advocacy organizations to intensify the campaign against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.The keynote speaker, a representative of Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, Titus Charley, noted that drug abuse has made young Liberians hopeless and created serious impediment to social, economic, cultural and political life of the country.Mr. Charley stressed that Liberia continues to suffer due to the constant usage of drugs by young people, who supposed to be future leaders.He mentioned that prevention starts with parents, and they are under obligation to ensure that the kids do not take drugs, tobacco or alcohol, and they should start to talk and listen to their kids, and help them to make good choices and friends.For his part, Assistant Information Minister, Albert K. Jaja, pointed out that the fight against drug abuse should be collective.He noted that the fight requires the disclosure of the hideouts of drug traders, and a strong drug law that prohibits or bars the usage of drug in the country.At the event, the Assistant Minister for Youth Development at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Lance Gbagonyon mentioned that the government needs to intensify the fight against drug abuse to create a secure and safe society.Also, the vice president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Jallah Grayfield, said drug abuse hinders the growth and development of young people.He called on the media to join the fight against drug abuse by airlifting stories and articles on the effects of drugs in the country.The event brought together hundreds of students and youths, who were told about the harmful effects of drugs in Liberia.The students were also taught about their roles and responsibilities in the combat against drug and they were encouraged by panellists to desist from the harmful use of drug. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Numennie Williams is Dead

first_imgMr. Numennie Williams, the former President of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) is dead.Mr. Williams died on Sunday, March 20, after an extended period of kidney failure. He has just returned from Accra, Ghana where he sought advance medical treatment.The former SWAL president, dubbed Papie, was very innovative, hardworking and instrumental in the promotion and development of SWAL including capacity building of sports journalists.He was the first SWAL president to launch the “SWAL Website,” and over eight sports journalists were able to benefit from an elite international football reporting training sponsored by the world football governing body, FIFA.The training was held in Nigeria and Senegal respectively and the facilitators were veteran English sports journalists.Mr. Williams also served as Communication Officer of 1st division LISCR FC. He recently served as Chairman of the SWAL’s election commission, where Roland Mulbah was reelected. He is married with three children.He was a full member of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL).Funeral arrangements would be announced later.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Bassa Political Differences Finally Resolved

first_imgThe political power struggle that engulfed Grand Bassa County in the past months which forced former Superintendent Etweda Cooper out of office has been resolved, Superintendent Levi Demah told President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf over the weekend in Buchanan.Stakeholders in the county have now resolved to work together to move the county forward and to ensure development that the county yearns for, he told the President.There have been persistent concerns that Grand Bassa is divided on political issues based on deceptive politics which were impediments to the progress of the county.Former Supt. Cooper resigned early September 2015 following months of stand-off with the county’s Legislative Caucus over the use of the county’s development fund. Madam Cooper stated that her resignation was the best way forward for the county amid an atmosphere of calumny, invective, intense acrimony, and deliberately circulated falsehoods that typify political and societal exchanges in the county.“We have resolved all our differences and have agreed to work together for the betterment of Grand Bassa. This is evidenced by the presence of all of our lawmakers and some of our eminent citizens,” Demah told President Sirleaf at the dedicatory ceremony of the newly constructed Buchanan City Hall. The Chairperson of the Grand Bassa County Legislative caucus, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, also spoke favorably about the working relationships that now exist in the county and expressed happiness that calm has returned to ensure the development of the county.Resolving the county’s political differences was in fulfillment of a promise made by Superintendent Demah when he took office.At his induction ceremony, Demah said although expectations were high, people should be reminded that no leader could make it alone.“Our stewardship will be participatory and consultative,” he further said. “No one should feel and will not be marginalized in this new equation…”Demmah promised to avoid deceptive politics to encourage unity and regain the deserving relevance the county needed and noted that reconciliation and unity, Youth development, an improved financial management system and infrastructure development were his priorities.The return of smooth working relationship to the county between the local government and the Legislative Caucus was also echoed by the Liberia Traditional Council Chairman Zanzan Karwor. “We are happy that our children have now agreed to work together again. This is the only way our county will develop,” he said.Supt. Demah did a great job to bring all the stakeholders to agree to work together. “Madam President, our new superintendent is working hard. He has made everybody to come together to work for this county. We are happy that you brought this man here,” chairman Kawor declared.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

NASSCORP Embarks on Road Project in Sinkor

first_imgNational Social Security & Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP), an insurance agency of government covering workers in Liberia, has begun a major road project on 24th Street, Sinkor, where it is also erecting a 5-storey building for future use.The road is paved with concrete tar rather than asphalt, something experts say would last longer because the soil there hosts enough water that the concrete will be able to absorb.According to the experts, using asphalt would cause cracks in the pavement and the road will damage soon.The street, like the rest of the streets in the Sinkor belt, is to be paved by government, but an official of NASSCORP who spoke with this paper recently said the agency decided to underwrite the cost as part of its social responsibility to the people.According to the official, NASSCORP works for the people and it collects taxes, therefore, “The people have to get in return the benefits of their taxes as part of the agency’s corporate social responsibility.”Contractors constructing the road said earlier that the project would have stopped near the John F. Kennedy Medical Center Cholera Unit on 24th Street, but NASSCORP’s management reasoned that it should be extended downward to the beach so as to help residents in that area not to suffer from erosion and flood during the rainy season.The road leading to the beach on 24th Street is on a slope, and during the rainy season running water that enters the nearby swamp usually causes the area to be flooded.It may be recalled that in June 2014, many in the People United Community, between 20th and 24th Streets, were gravely affected by flood after long hours of rainfall.Also in 2016 there was a repeat of the disaster and scores of people were affected, leading some to even move from the area.As measurement was extended down to the community after ending the first phase of the road at the Cholera Unit, some residents were expressing delight over the development.“We are happy that the road will come down here. It will really help us, and we don’t care how the measurement will affect us. All we know is that our road should come,” James Barlea, an elder of the community said.Pains of development While some are rejoicing for extension of the road project towards the beach, there are still others who, due to roadblocks, rained insults on the workers.Some drivers living down the beach were recently heard insulting the contractors when they (contractors) lined measuring sticks and steel mats on the road in preparation of pavement.Two men, during the day the first phase was completed, were also heard insulting the workers for blocking the road to prevent passage so that the watery concrete could solidify.“I don’t know what kind of crazy people are these. Why can’t you complete one side and leave the other side for us to pass? You want to do all at once?”This ongoing road project financed by NASSCORP is among other road projects in the Sinkor belt sponsored by government.Beginning 10th Street to 18th Street, government is rehabilitating that belt with asphalt tar including the Payne and Horton Avenues.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Indian National in Court for US$124K Theft

first_imgThe case against Maxx Rental Incorporated, a car rental company manager and its chief accountant, Sanju Jose Thayankeril, an Indian national, and Lorena Reeves, a Liberian accused of US$124,730.75 theft started last week at Criminal Court ‘C’ in Monrovia.Both Thayankeril and Reeves have pleaded not guilty to the multiple-count indictment brought against them by the government when they were first arraigned in court.The parties (prosecution and defense teams) have already concluded with their final legal arguments into the matter and are therefore waiting for Judge Yussif Kaba to declare them either guilty or not.At last week’s hearing, Judge Kaba did not give a definite time when he would render his judgment.Thayankeril and Ms Reeves will serve prison terms between five to ten years and made to pay back the money, if found guilty.Between July 2015 and April 2016, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO), Emmanuel Togba, claimed that the defendants (Thayankeril and Reeves) used their respective positions to design a criminal scheme where they successfully prepared a fictitious vehicle rental request purporting same to be emanating from one of the company’s clients, the World Food Program (WFP).They were alleged to have used the request to raise a payment voucher for the US$124,730.75 and fraudulently transferred the money from the Maxx Rental bank account into their personal savings account for the period between July 2015 up to and including April 2016.Their alleged withdrawal was intended to ensure that the rental service was provided to the WFP, while in reality the UN entity made no such request, for which the defendants en-cashed the check and withdrew the money for their personal use and benefits.Before the withdrawal, Togba claimed that in June 2015, Thayankeril and his co-defendant (Reeves) encouraged him to join the company and served as its chief executive officer.When the deal was sealed, Togba alleged that the defendants issued to him a 35 percent share in the company and the CEO post, on condition that he made available the collateral to secure a loan from the GT Bank.It was based upon “the encouraging post (CEO),” that Togba allegedly used his seven bed-room story building, situated at the ELWA Rehab Road in Paynesville, as collateral for an amount of US$150,000 in the name of Maxx Rental Incorporated to the bank.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“Tech Attracts Investment, Promotes MSME,” Commerce Minister Addy Says

first_imgThe Minister of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), Axel M. Addy, said an innovative economy is a dynamic and attractive one, and showcasing progress on the Information Communication Technology (ICT) front can help Liberia to attract investment and promote micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) across the country.Minister Addy made the assertion Thursday at the kickoff of this year’s MSME conference held at the Liberian Marketplace in Sinkor, which was graced by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; United States Ambassador Christine Elder; John B. S. Davies, President of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI); Frederick B. Norkeh, Minister of Post and Telecommunications; Chief Executive Officer of Orange Liberia, Mamadou Coulibaly; as well as members of the National Legislature and innovative entrepreneurs of Liberia among others.He called Liberian innovators, MSME stakeholders and policy-makers to embrace this year’s MSME conference to exchange ideas and share lessons learned, in order to derive innovative solutions and policy recommendations to ensure ICT’s full potential will be exploited.“Through ICT innovation, MSMEs can combine growth with social impact, uplifting not only the economy, but also solving the social challenges our fellow Liberians may still face. Because of this inclusive growth it generates, ICT innovations hold a great promise for the future of our country and of our people,” Minister Addy said.He observed that in order to fully seize this opportunity and continue to push the frontiers of technology, this year’s focus on “Promoting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Liberia” will highlight the vital role of innovation in our economy.Minister Addy said the MSME conference is also intended for key stakeholders from the public and private sectors to meet to discuss the challenges the country still faces to fully play a role in the digital revolution and what policy-makers, business community and civil society organizations can do to encourage and facilitate innovation in Liberia.“We all share a responsibility in exploiting these new opportunities and expanding our productive frontiers through innovation, in order to truly enable Liberia to take off. MSMEs need to adapt innovative solutions for their business development. Policy measures and public programs must encourage ICT usage and innovation by fostering a conducive business environment,” he added.He said “To create a middle-income Liberia, both grand and small innovations are necessary. This conference is not only the opportunity to proudly present cutting-edge innovations, but also to prove that innovation is accessible to all. Marginal adaptations of technology to everyday products can profoundly impact our routines.”Minister Addy said this year again, “Our Entrepreneur-Plus (“E+”) program, a two-year business incubation program awarding US$100,000 in seed funding to reward the most promising young entrepreneurs, will take place in cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden and Mercy Corps. We are also hosting a business innovation pitch competition to award prizes worth US$20,000 to ICT innovators.”Minister Addy said Vice President, Amb. Joseph N. Boakai will reward the best innovators on Saturday, as everyone enjoys a day of shopping and music at the concert organised by Orange.He said “From international marketing strategies to streamlining daily processes, inventory tracking, e-payments and cashless transactions, ICT is already present in many aspects of our MSMEs lives. But seeing that the sector already represents 7% of Africa’s jobs, and that 12% of the world’s cross-border trade in goods happens through e-commerce, it becomes evident that while digital innovations have impacted everyday life in Liberia, much of the revolution’s potential remains untapped.”Christine Elder, United States Ambassador to Liberia, said while the conference focuses on ICT, entrepreneurship is only partly driven by technology, stating “Entrepreneurship involves having a vision and taking risks.”According to her, technology can help entrepreneurs to be more efficient and successful, whether working in a market stall, storefront or from the kitchen table, describing info technology and this year’s location as excellent choices for the conference.She said a modern ICT sector has the potential to contribute to Liberia’s progress from increased economic growth to improved agricultural productivity and enhanced access to education and health.“The United States applauds Liberia for committing to develop a robust ICT sector and for acknowledging the central role this can play in strengthening the country’s economy and development, adding “The United States remains committed to help Liberia achieve this goal.”In addition, Madam Elder said the United States provides support for e-government and digital financial systems that can bring financial service to Liberians currently not being served by the formal banking sector. “We are also providing technical assistance on policies to help Liberia develop the regulatory and policy environment to grow its ICT sector.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said she was impressed with the level of contribution made to the sector MSME by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), and its partners which has impacted the sector largely.“The present of entrepreneurs here today and our partners demonstrate the gains being made and will continue to contribute to the development of the sector. I am proud to see our market women speaking and demanding of what they want,” she said.Keynote speakers Mlen-Too Wesley and Charles D. Cooper, founders of Cookshop.biz, called on Liberian innovators to partner in order to make progress within the sector.“Liberia needs more ICT innovators and working together as innovators will greatly help in achieving such a milestone. Liberia can make serious progress within this sector when everyone comes together and continue to build collaboration,” they noted. They said Liberia will achieve more within the ICT sector if innovators can see partnership as key to the general development of Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

80 street lamps given to constituencies across Linden

first_imgConstituencies across Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) were the recipients of a number of street lamps, which were handed over by the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) last week.LM&TC Treasurer Audrey Nelson (right) makes a donation to constituency representative, Councillor Fern Mckoy (left) in the presence of Linden Deputy Mayor Waneka Arindell (centre) and Councillors Leroy James and Wainwright BethuneRepresentatives of the eight constituencies each received 10 lamps to be placed in their respective areas. The street lamps were handed over at the office of the LM&TC. The lamps are to be installed by the Linden Electricity Company Inc (LECI) and the Linden Utility Services Co-op Society Limited (LUSCSL) in time for the festive season.Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland said the project was aimed at lighting up areas in the community, noting that more was yet to come.“We know there are several dark streets within the township and we’re just happy to play our little part with this contribution”, he said.“It’s not the end of the lamps…because we expect a donation of several street lamps through the Ministry of Communities, from the Japanese grant. However, we’ve not gotten it as yet. So Council decided to invest in 80 street lamps. It is our plan to light up Linden, make Linden brighter and…make Linden safe,” the Mayor said.He noted that providing the street lamps was also part of efforts to ensure the security of the township. (Utamu Belle)last_img read more

ECD man fined for disregarding presidential convoy

first_imgA motor lorry driver on Monday appeared before Providence Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs and was fined for his disregard of a presidential motorcade by not allowing the procession the right of way. Additionally, he was charged for dangerous driving.Durbaj Uraj of Lot 577 Foulis Housing Scheme, East Coast Demerara, driving motor lorry GRR 8873 on September 30th, failed to give the right of way to a presidential convoy which was returning to Georgetown. The incident occurred at Coverden, East Bank Demerara.Uraj admitted to the offence and was fined $40,000; he also was placed on a one-year bond.Magistrate Isaacs cautioned Uraj that should he commit any traffic violation during the one-year period of his bond, he would be sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment.last_img read more