Articles by admin

‘I Would Have Voted against It’

first_imgVP Jewel Howard Taylor: “My parents came from nowhere but they understand the importance of giving anyone a sound education…”Bong County Senior Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor has stated that had she been present, she would have voted against the amendment to the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Act, which was recently passed with unanimous consent by the Senate.Senator Taylor, a trained banker and Chair of the Senate Committee on Autonomous Commissions and Agencies, was speaking in Monrovia last week in the wake of mixed public reactions to the passage of the controversial amendment to the CBL Act by both Houses of the Legislature.“I was not here when that law was passed. I was in Accra, (Ghana) representing the Senate at a meeting there; but if I [had been here], I would have voted against it,” Senator Taylor declared.The Bong County lawmaker stated that there was a need for the Legislature to craft a holistic law that would apply to all officials serving at a particular level in government, instead of one that targets a particular entity and its officials.“You now have a group of governors — not just Mills Jones — every governor at CBL is now barred from taking part in the 2014 elections. I am not even talking about 2017. I was hoping that we would do that in the Code of Conduct that would set a certain level across the board… [without discrimination],” Senator Taylor lamented.“There must be a holistic law that looks at everyone at a particular level, instead of one law that seems to be targeting the Central Bank of Liberia and all of its officials. I made a comment the other day without knowing that they would have this problem,” the outspoken female lawmaker declared.“If there are issues of mismanagement or misusing money, there are opportunities to deal with that as an issue; but to go and put in place a law?”The Senate passed the bill unanimously before sending it to the House of Representatives, which concurred with zero tolerance for dissent. The speed with which the bill was passed earned it the nickname ‘4G bill’.Having voiced her disagreement with the recently passed bill, Senator Taylor opined that the matter must now be taken from where it is.“There are people who have already taken the issue to court (Supreme Court). Maybe they can use the opportunity to go back,” she suggested.In a related development, the former First Lady of Liberia has praised her colleagues in the Liberian Senate for the recent passage of the portion of the Electoral Reform Laws which stipulates that:  “In submitting to the National Elections Commission a list of its candidates for elective office, a political party or coalition should endeavor to ensure that the governing body and its list of candidates has no less than 30% of its members from each gender.”She said the development could not have come at a better time than on the eve of the week when the world is celebrating International Women’s Day. She particularly thanked her sister, Madam Sandra Howard, whom she recalled was among the crafters of the law that created the Gender and Development Ministry during the regime of her ex-husband, former President Charles Taylor.With the coming to power of Liberia’s and Africa’s first democratically-elected female President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Senator Taylor said the glass ceiling has been broken and marks the beginning of how far Liberian women can go.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Improvement dependent on GWI’s rate increase

first_imgDear Editor,Improvement in the quality of water provided to citizens, as well as an increase in supply, is dependent on much-needed revenue to finance the upgrade of aged infrastructure, build human resource capacity, and purchase the requisite equipment and chemicals to treat the water.This reasoning was reinforced by the Guyana Water Inc on Wednesday at the Woodbine Room of Cara Lodge, during the second public hearing for an application on change of rates, organised by the Public Utilities Commission.Responding to questions from the audience gathered at the hearing, Managing Director of GWI, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles, explained that the company’s debt figure is high, and collections alone cannot sufficiently finance the investments made to treat water for a growing economy.“When we apply the Limitation Act and look at the debt beyond the last three years, there is no way — if you collect that debt anyway — that you can cover the cost, because nothing stands still. We’re having customers every day; we’re having new housing schemes, both private and public; we are looking at already existing schemes that do not have access; those that require an improvement of quality, such as New Hope,” Dr Van West-Charles said.He further highlighted that in the context of the strategic plan, maintenance of the system is necessary, and the needs of the hinterland regions as well as the improvement of water quality across the country must be taken into consideration.Dr. Van West-Charles stressed that, globally, every company caters for some level of delinquency from customers who do not pay their debt. In this regard, he cited other utility and hire-purchase entities.Additionally, the Managing Director pointed out that while salaries are equal among staff countrywide, so should the rates be.During his presentation, it was also highlighted that since the last rate change, 12 years ago, the cost for purifying water alone has increased by more than 100 per cent, let alone the cost for equipment and manual labour, among other things. In this regard, Dr. Van West-Charles stated that the utility has since moved to employ and train staff in the necessary areas of expertise, such as learning new drilling techniques and water quality improvements.GWI is proposing a change in rates for residential and non-residential (metered and unmetered) customers, and a new category for pensioners. The PUC has requested an unaudited copy of GWI’s 2016 financial statements, to be presented at the next public hearing, scheduled for March 14, 2018 at the same venue from 10:00hrs. GWI has promised to meet with its Board of Directors to seek permission in regard to providing same.Yours truly,Public Relations OfficerGWIlast_img read more

Everlasting stain on President

first_imgDear Editor,In speaking, the Caribbean Court of Justice has made a mockery of Government and left an everlasting stain on the legacy of President David Granger.Under the guise of a right to judicial redress, Government instead engaged in an abuse of the judicial process at the expense of taxpayers, thereby pushing Guyana towards an area of darkness.All that has been achieved, if anything, is an intentional delay of the people’s right to vote in a timely manner, and an opportunity to further undermine the electoral process. This is a whole lot.Sincerely,Rakesh Rampertablast_img

Guyana’s PNC penchant for dictatorship

first_imgDear Editor,The no-confidence vote toppled the David Granger Administration (APNU/AFC Government); elections were supposed to be held within 90 days of the No-Confidence Motion with the Cabinet resigning and acting as a caretaker Government.The very fact that the Government has not resigned and elections have not been called within the stipulated timeframe is a gross violation of Guyana’s Constitution.All the shenanigans of going to the courts were just acts to extend the life of the APNU/AFC Government, much like awaiting GECOM’s readiness to call elections. GECOM does not decide when elections are called.Guyana currently has a dictatorship. Get up and fight for your rights Guyanese, before it is too late!Yours faithfully,Sean Orilast_img

Unions await consideration of new proposals

first_imgThe planned protests by the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) and the University of Guyana Workers Union (UGWU) which was expected to begin last Friday, has been put on hold, as the two bodies are awaiting word on some new proposals they have put forward.Guyana Times understands that the UG has agreed to give consideration to some of the proposals put forward by the unions which also expressed dissatisfaction with the course the administration has taken.Last Thursday, academic and non-academic staff had threatened to begin a series of industrial actions, if the administration did not concede to their demands.They said that if the new administration did not adhere to their calls for increases in salaries, the situation could become harsh.They had also demanded that the planned 10 per cent increase for senior officials of the institution be abandoned.The two unions said faculty and staff at the university will be launching a protest calling for increased salaries and benefits as talks between the unions and the administration had hit a roadblock.The two unions are demanding, among other things, that academic and nonacademic staff receive 23 per cent and 25 per cent increases in their salaries respectively, retroactive to January 2016 along with all benefits submitted to the university’s administration on April 20, 2016. This they required to be paid in their May 2016 salaries.The unions said the administration has not been keeping the promises it made on April 18, 2016, to stop the across-the-board increases for the statutory officers. Among the key demands is for the Council to rescind its decision to pay statutory officers – two deputy vice chancellors, the registrar and the bursar – a 10 per cent increase in salaries retroactive to January 2015, until it can offer adequate justification for such actions.They said it is the very administration which claimed it had no monies to pay benefits including 10 bursaries for their children who performed with distinction at national exams, yet the administration found over $8 million to increase the salaries of statutory officers who had just joined the university, a mere eight months ago and all others within the last two years: “Some of whose take home pay amounts to approximately one million dollars per month.”If the University of Guyana’s administration and Council go ahead and pay the 10 per cent increase to the statutory officers, the unions say they will “reassert their previous demand of a 60 per cent increase in salaries retroactive to January 2016 and all submitted demands contained in our Memorandum of Demands dated February 16, 2015.”last_img read more

Guyana to host Int’l Congress on Biodiversity in August

first_imgGuyana is set to host the largest gathering of experts on biodiversity of the Guiana Shield at the fourth International Congress on Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield from August 8 to 12, the local United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office has announced.The Congress, which was officially launched on Friday, will be held under the theme: “Leveraging our high endemicity, cultural diversity and intact ecosystems for inclusive growth and secure futures.”Organisers at the launch of the IV International Congress on Biodiversity of the Guiana ShieldThe week-long event will be held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, and it is anticipated that more than one hundred papers will be presented along with poster displays, discussion and capacity building sessions.Leading scientists, practitioners, policymakers and students in a variety of fields will be among the hundreds from around the globe expected to be in attendance. These include biomimicry expert, Dr Dayna Baumeister; forest policy professor, Dr Robert J Lilieholm and Dr Russell A Mittermeier, world renowned primatologist and conservation expert.The Congress discourse will cover the state of biodiversity and ecological functions of the Guiana Shield, biodiversity and communities: contribution and role of local and indigenous communities, biodiversity and climate, mainstreaming biodiversity in sustainable development, and gender and vulnerable groups.The Guiana Shield is one of Earth’s oldest geological formations, and is the single largest block of tropical forest remaining on the planet. The region is one of the most biologically rich and diverse in the world; with its pristine forests, largely uncontaminated aquatic ecosystems, and other intact ecosystems. It is also home to many rare and unique species. A variety of indigenous and other communities depend, some almost exclusively, on its environment for their livelihood.Over the past two decades, however, countries of the Shield have sought to intensify exploitation of their natural resources as a means of alleviating poverty and promoting socio-economic development. This has resulted in emergence of a multiplicity of challenges, including land use conflicts and biodiversity loss.The International Congress on Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield was last held in Paramaribo, Suriname in August 2013. Macapa City, in the Brazilian state of Amapa, hosted the second congress in 2010, and Venezuela was the host of the inaugural congress in 2006.The Guyana Society for Biodiversity and Ecosystems (GSBE) is coordinating the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Congress. The LOC includes the Natural Resources Ministry, UNDP, Iwokrama International Centre, University of Guyana, and the local offices of Conservation International and World Wildlife Fund Guianas.Sponsorship of the Congress is being sought. Significant contributions have already been received from the Government of Guyana, through the Ministries of the Presidency and Natural Resources. Pledges and contributions have also been received from WWF-Guianas, UNDP, Caricom and Camex Restaurant Inc.GSBE is a local chapter of the International Biodiversity Society of the Guiana Shield (IBG) – established with a view to addressing a multiplicity of socioeconomic, political, cultural and environmental issues confronting the Guiana Shield region.Registered as a friendly-benefit Society, the GSBE is a non-governmental, charitable and non-profit making body. It promotes conservation, research and wise management of biological diversity and ecosystems in Guyana and the wider Guiana Shield through its affiliations with partner associations in the region and beyond.last_img read more

Tom Woewiyu Denied Bail

first_imgJucontee Thomas Woewiyu has been denied bail by a US court. Mr. Woewiyu, a former spokesman for the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) is facing a potentially lengthy prison term in the United States for alleged immigration fraud.He was planning to run for Senate in the upcoming special senatorial election.And despite living for the last four decades as a legal permanent resident in Delaware County, he and his wife maintain extensive real estate holdings, including a rubber farm in Liberia.”He is very, very much involved in public life in Liberia,” said prosecutor Linwood C. Wright. “He has an infrastructure there [Liberia] that is more substantial than what he has here [US].”On Friday, a U.S. magistrate judge agreed and ordered Woewiyu, 69, held without bond while he awaits trial on allegations he lied to immigration officers about his past with Taylor,  who is serving a 50-year term in a British prison.But in arguing for his release, Woewiyu’s lawyer, Benjamin G. Perez, suggested that what government attorneys misunderstood was that having a life on both sides of the Atlantic is the norm for much of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s 15,000-member Liberian expatriate community.In the African hair salons and grocery stores that have sprung up along thoroughfares such as Woodland Avenue, shoppers tell tales of family living here and there. Rivalries cross oceans, and men in T-shirts and jeans are equally likely to introduce themselves as café owners or dignitaries from nations thousands of miles away.Such was the manner in which Liberian expat Jeffrey Harmon introduced himself Friday in the hallway of the federal courthouse.”This is all political,” he said of Woewiyu’s arrest. “This all has to do with politics back at home.”His concerns mirrored conspiracy theories snaking their way through the Liberian immigrant community in the days since Woewiyu’s arrest. Homeland Security detained him Monday at Newark Liberty International Airport as he returned from a campaign trip to Monrovia, Liberia’s capital.The charges against him stem from a 2006 application for U.S. citizenship. Asked on the form whether he had ever advocated for the toppling of a foreign government or persecuted minority groups, Woewiyu said no.Prosecutors, however, call him a war criminal – linking him to the worst atrocities of Taylor’s regime.Throughout back-to-back civil wars that wracked Liberia from 1989 to 2003, Woewiyu served as the U.S.-based spokesman and defense minister to Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia.The party had mounted a violent campaign to wrest control from Taylor’s predecessor, Samuel Doe, in 1996, but then turned its weapons on countrymen in an effort to hold on to power – executing political opponents, conscripting boys into child armies, and forcing girls into prostitution. Taylor was convicted of those crimes by an international court in 2012. Woewiyu – who served as labor minister in Taylor’s government and president pro tempore of the Senate before breaking politically with Taylor – remained here.For years, he has resided with his wife in a two-story home in Collingdale. They have enjoyed a prominent role in Delaware County’s immigrant community.He earned a bachelor’s degree in labor studies from Rutgers University in 1981. He is pursuing a master’s from Pennsylvania State University while earning a living through real estate development.Six of his grown children also live in the United States. One is a lieutenant in the Navy.”I am very surprised,” said the Rev. Moses Dennis of Faith Immanuel Lutheran Church in East Lansdowne, which caters to a large Liberian congregation. Woewiyu occasionally attended services at there.”He comes across very genuine,” Dennis said. “He’s a politician. A politician, you know.”Others preferred to keep their opinions to themselves, fearful that anything said here could mean trouble for family abroad. For, as U.S. prosecutors said Friday, Woewiyu maintains a high profile in his homeland.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Decent Work Bill Lingers

first_imgThe decision on the minimum wage for both public and private workers in Liberia will be brought to the plenary of the Senate within two weeks.The Senate plenary on Tuesday April 28, voted to accept a request from its conference committee, currently meeting with colleagues at the Lower House, for a two week extension of its mandate to reconcile between two rates voted on as a threshold for the minimum wage.The conference committee’s renewed two week extended mandate was prompted by a request from Nimba County ranking Senator Prince Johnson for an update on the status of the lagging Decent Work Bill.In her verbal report to the Senate Tuesday, the current chair of the Committee, Grand Bassa County   Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, informed the body that the two Conference Committees have held three separate meetings, and that a breakthrough will soon be announced to the plenary.But some members of the Senate, including Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper, who vehemently promotes the passage of the Bill, argued that it was taking too long for the committees to come out with a decision on the minimum wage amount.The Decent Work Bill, which originated from the House of Representatives, was passed by that body during the 52nd Legislature without a threshold as a minimum wage and was sent to the Senate for concurrence.It was at the Senate that a threshold of US$6.00 a day was voted on as a minimum wage and sent back to the House of Representatives.But on March 18, 2014, after weeks of no reaction from the House of Representatives over the Senate’s threshold, the Secretary of the Senate was mandated to write the House for an update on the status of the Bill for concurrent passage.Amid speculations that the House was contemplating on delegating the responsibility to determine the minimum wage to the minimum wage board of the Ministry of Labor, River Gee Senator Frederick Cherue warned:  “If we don’t harmonize whatever differences there are, the Decent Work Bill will continue to go in circles until thy kingdom come.”However, the House later informed the Senate that it had agreed on the amount of US$7.20 a day as a minimum wage, and needed its concurrence.It was at this juncture that the two houses again mandated their conference committees to work on an amicable resolution between the two figures, and reconcile any other sticky issues pertaining to the smooth passage of the Bill.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

The Potential Contribution of the Mining Industry

first_imgWhen I committed to occasionally write a few lines as a way of contributing to the national conversation, I thought it would be useful to intersperse the comments with other thematic issues that are linked to my professional background that might impact our palm oil and rice concerns. Consistent with that outlook, my argument will focus on the depleteble resources sector, both past and present to see how we treat this engine of growth. The presentation will be done in two stages: The first will touch on hard minerals while the second one will deal with the soft minerals that produce energy and drive the oil industry in an attempt to bring some clarity for the good of our people, who might still be confused on the impact of these resources as knowledge about these are relatively new to our people. These are enclaves in which I have spent a good deal of my professional life.The question of prosperity in our recent history immediately brings to mind the mining industry. The mining industry, as one of the most important industries of our time, the largest employer and greatest generator of foreign earnings then in Liberia was a fundamental stabilization factor. As such this industry remains a dynamic investment force for the future. The architects of President Tubman’s open door policy no doubt might have realized that investment in plant capacity was quite crucial for the creation of jobs, and that the most important investment needed was that which created the greatest number of long term jobs per dollar invested, thus the birth of the Mining Enclaves. Against the cyclical attractiveness of the iron ore industry, now essentially underpinned by the level of consumption by the Chinese end users (for the time), we as a country, are now presented with an excellent opportunity to explore the ambiance the we will have to create, if we must continue to attract the requisite financial investments to this industry which requires sizeable capital for its sustained operations, even in time of downturns.While Liberians must all be hopeful that recent positive political moves cushioned by the Government’s aggressiveness in addressing her investment posture has yielded some comforting results in inducing the 16 billion dollars of foreign direct investment, the Government’s persistence and resilience can go a long way towards creating a climate in which Liberians can feel that they have a real, equal and meaningful part to play; jobs and the creation of comfort for individuals must surely rank as two of the most powerful factors in creating real socio-economic stability. It is not going to be immediate and sometimes painless, but come, it will. Howbeit, the jobs and stability necessary cannot co-exist in an environment of uncertainty fuelled by persistent labor dislocations or shaken by an environment of cyclical violence. It might sound like the age old chicken-or egg argument. High incidence of violence leading to less investment to yet more violence and it is my cautious view that with positive political expediency, effective legal framework and sound economic plan buttressed with political will, the foreign investment community can display the moral and economic fortitude our times demand.To properly appreciate what a potentially dynamic factor the mineral industry is, come with me back in history; then perhaps we could further cherish the potential contribution of the mining industry to future prosperity of Liberia. We must, however recall that mining, whether iron ore or alluvial diamonds and gold was the cornerstone of our economy during the 60s, 70s and early 80s. It provided substantial percentage of our foreign exchange earnings, then. We know that mining venture such as the major Iron ore Mines then, Bokon Djere, Kokoya Gold fields, Jeebloom, the prolific diamond bearing flats and floodplains of the Lofa, Man, Yah and Via rivers, Kumgbor, Dambala Bombo Crossing, Weasua and Weaju, among others contributed significantly to output and wage employment growth, as well as growth in volume and value of exports. Taxes paid by the mining sector were a significant factor in the phenomenal growth in public sector revenues throughout the sixties and seventies and the economic ripples of these investments extended far beyond the mining enclave, in creating jobs and improving the welfare of adjoining communities. The Ministry of Lands and Mines gave consistent geological guidance and search for these irreplaceable minerals. But no matter how laudable the contributions were, the Mining sector cannot rest on its past laurels. In view of the unexpected calamities Liberia suddenly experienced when she was reversing the downward decline of the derivatives of the mining industry that sent the recent investor scrambling to safety, temporarily abandoning most of their operations, and downturn of the price of iron from a high of $100 plus to a low $40. This huge loss in revenue could not even be compensated by the low price of oil which is on the increase again. The residue of the high grade iron ore deposits left from the older mines are hard and contain lesser iron content requiring intensive crushing and beneficiation which is energy intensive. That is effectively the principal purpose of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy; replacement and /or development of irreplaceable resources. Refreshingly Liberia has recently announced the launching of its first mechanized gold mining operations which might soften our landing to an extent. But that is inadequate to offset the revenue being lost.All minerals are irreplaceable commodities. As these commodities are irreplaceable, Government must now design an urgent strategy and plan for the quantification of the many other numerous indications minerals discovered thru the Geological and Resources Appraisal Program (GERA) then launched jointly by the U.S. Geological and Liberian Geological surveys, for not only the quantification but the discovery of newer resources yet to be discovered. The Government will do well if she utilized the services of past and now retired earth scientists to assist the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy to help build capacity in that Ministry or re-design strategies. These individuals are so patriotic they would gladly help if consulted. They still have professional contacts with their counterparts in the U.S. Geological Survey. To diversify and attract investors of diverse interests, the investor must be able to project his stream of financial returns based on what the country has quantified as mineable reserves. The need and expediency of replacing these irreplaceable minerals forcefully inform Government of the immediacy for Government to strengthen the capacity of that Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, particularly the Geological Survey. This is by no means cheap, especially with the advent of newer technology, such as Landsat Imagery, Spectral and Microwave Remote sensing and other geoscience tools, which make discovery much more certain, less tedious and less costly than before; and these improvements can be accessed under the continuing bilateral arrangements with advanced Governments, especially the United States which initiated the First Appraisal Program. Paired against this is the price of doing nothing. The resources are there begging to be quantified.Maybe some of you might be curious as what minerals actually have been discovered so far as reserves or as indicator minerals which need to be quantified. Our geologic exploration programs have confirmed substantive tonnages of proven, mineable and probable reserves of iron ore as wells as tremendous indicator minerals, which could form the basis of future wealth and prosperity. These include: gold, diamond, bauxite, manganese, tin(cassiterite), chromite, barite, kyanite, phosphate, rutile, platinum, silver, sulfur, titanium, tungsten, zinc, uranium, niobium-tantalium, As I indicated earlier, these indicator minerals demand some serious program of quantification to determine their reserve status.What could we as a nation do to sustain this sector?Without going into details, as the editor cautions on very long articles, I will just run thru these:1. Government might, as a first step launch investment forums among potential investors both in and out country. Government implemented that already as evidenced by the attraction of $16billon dollars, which is not a check paid out to Government but is to be invested over a negotiated period consistent with the duration of the concession.2. As security conditions continue to be challenging with the concessions, and the national monitoring system might have some problems coping with all the mines, Government could consider amalgamation of her interests into one entity. A Minerals commission, like the Ghana Minerals Commission. This would require knowledge of all Government’s mineral assets. It would be a public vehicle dedicated solely to the development and improved commercialization of her mineral wealth, a job too specialized and tedious for any Government bureaucracy.3. To enhance a scrupulous development of the Government’s mineral wealth, she must revisit her mineral policy towards making it more investors friendly. The objective here is to accrue the largest possible benefits to Government consistent with optimal returns to the investor.To end this portion of the presentation let me emphasize that the Government must take serious the factors that inhibit the potential investor. They have to do with risk and reward. It has been said many times that risk pervades business like gravity pervades physics. While investors may tend to be optimistic on the reward side and seem to have confidence in their ability to estimate potential returns, everyone worries about the risk side. See you on the continuation of the second phase- Energy and Oil.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Red Cross Donates Sanitary Kits to 951 Schools

first_imgThe Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) has distributed Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Kits to about 951 schools in 11 of the 15 counties. The IPC Kits are in support of the Safe School Environment Protocol developed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) during the height of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD).The kits are approved by both Ministries of Health (MOH) and Education. They contain brooms, large and small buckets, cartons of soap, thermo-flash and towels for hand washing, brushes, chlorine, hand gloves and brochures, among others. The distribution of the IPC kits is in fulfillment of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) and the MOE under the Safe School Environment Protocol as part of the Red Cross’ EVD response. LNRCS Public Relations Officer, Oniel Bestman said the counties that have benefitted from the distribution are Montserrado, Grand Bassa, River Gee, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Sinoe. Grand Kru, Nimba, Margibi, Rivercess, and Bong are the other benefitting counties. Mr. Bestman said the IPC kits for 28 schools in Grand Gedeh was delayed due to bad road network, but was grateful that the consignment has finally reached the county, where they are expected to be distributed in the coming days. The LNRCS, with support from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, offered to help the government to administer and distribute the IPC kits to 1,016 schools across the country, training of teachers and monitoring of school programs.Red Cross Secretary General, Fayiah Tamba, in a release, said providing infection prevention control kits in schools is a positive development that will create a healthy environment for learning and help keep students from getting sick.“The Red Cross feels strongly that increased interest in water, sanitation and hygiene in schools to contribute to a safe and healthy learning environment is a positive development. Special steps must be taken to accelerate and coordinate progress on how students can keep practicing sanitation and hygiene in schools,” Tamba said. He added that the proportion of schools without access to basic sanitation is a key issue and the LNRCS is determined to improve sanitation in all schools.The LNRCS SG noted that the donation is the entity’s way of promoting safe hygiene practices in schools in line with the Safe School Environment Protocol developed by the MOE. The Red Cross partners with MOE in getting the lists of schools to which the items are being donated in the counties. The next plan of the Red Cross is monitoring the items given to the various schools to ensure that they are used for the intended purposes. The distribution exercise started after the Red Cross provided training to representatives of the schools, students and parent-teacher associations in temperature taking, checking for symptoms and hand washing to ensure compliance with the MOH safety protocols.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more