News from Liberia provided by the Liberia News Agency ( LINA )

Ministry of Information Building
Capitol Hill, Monrovia
Daily News Bulletin
October 21, 2015
VP Boakai Urges Unity Among Liberians Abroad

MONROVIA, October 21 (LINA) -Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has called on Liberians in the Diaspora to hold together to foster a positive image of their country.

He has also conveyed the gratitude of the Liberian people to their compatriots in the Diaspora for their support during the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the country.
Vice President Boakai made the call in special remarks at a community town hall meeting after he cut the ribbon to the edifice housing the Liberian Community Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.The Center was named in his honor owing to his “humility, honesty, and patriotism coupled with his assistance in securing the edifice” in Atlanta, according to a release from the Office of the Vice President.Arriving to a spectacular scene of traditional music and Liberian cultural dances, the Liberian statesman hoped that the Center would serve as a magnet pulling Liberian community members together.
He noted that this form of unity could attract their United States hosts to join in their pursuit of Liberian causes as well as the welfare of Liberians in the community.Vice President Boakai recognized and thanked long time Georgia residents Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Cummings, who were present at the town hall meeting, for honoring his call to support the Liberian community center initiative.The jam-packed town hall meeting that followed the ribbon cutting witnessed a highly interactive session, with the Vice President giving a short lecture on the situation back home and his vision for the country.This was followed by a long period of questions and answers during which several topics were covered. The Vice President received countless rounds of applause as he provided seasoned responses to questions posed, the release said..
New Envoy Pledges To Boost Liberia-Egypt Ties
MONROVIA, October 21 (LINA) -The new Egyptian Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Alaa Khaira Issa, has pledged to further boost Egypt-Liberia ties during his tour of duty in Liberia.“The commitment of Egypt to preserve its relations with the proud people of Liberia is absolute, whether in times of prosperity or turmoil and I am honored to be the envoy of President El Sisi to this great nation, the oldest independent state on the African continent,” Ambassador Issa emphasized.He promised to “share the brotherly love of the people of Egypt with their Liberian brethren” and assured President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that during his stay in Liberia, which he termed his second home, he will spare no effort to strengthen the bonds between both governments and peoples.According to an Executive Mansion release, Mr. Issa made the commitment on Monday, October 19, when he presented his Letters of Credence to President Sirleaf at a formal ceremony at the President’s temporary office at the Foreign Ministry.He reiterated the long-standing relationship that subsists between both countries.
“The bonds between our countries are not recent. They emanate from the ideals of independence from foreign domination, liberty of the people, and dignity of the individual,’ the Egyptian envoy observed.“It is from this shared history and commitment to the fundamental principles of independence, liberty and dignity that relations between our peoples came to be and representation between our nations was established,” he emphasized.
Small Arms Collection Underway In Three Counties
By Calvin Brooks, LINA
MONROVIA, October 21 (LINA) -The Chairman of the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LINCSA), James M. Fromayan, has disclosed that a pilot project intended to collect small arms in communities is underway in three counties.Fromayan said under the project, which started six months ago in Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Maryland Counties, small arms will be collected from communities in exchange for development projects, if illicit arms are found there.He made the disclosure Wednesday at a meeting of the National Technical Committee to review the first semester implementation, which is being supported by the Economic Community of West African States and the European Union Small Arms Projects held at a local hotel in the Monrovia.Fromayan said the pilot project, which is expected to last for two years, will, when implemented successfully, be extended to other counties across the country, noting that despite the disarmament process that took place after the 14-year civil war, illicit arms are still found in some communities.He indicated that with the passage of the Firearms and Ammunition Control Act of 2015, LINCSA will embark on the registration of arms and ammunition in Liberia to ensure the protection and safety of arms in the country.Fromayan emphasized that if community dwellers cooperate with the project, it will go a long way in making Liberia free of illicit arms which, he noted, is critical in preventing armed conflict in the near future.

UNFPA Rehabilitates, Trains 20 Fistula Victims In Bong
By Philip T. Singbah, LINA Bong County Correspondent
GBARNGA, October 21 (LINA) – The U. N. Population Fund (UNFPA) Fistula Program has graduated 20 Fistula survivors in Suakoko, Bong County following six months of rehabilitation and training in various livelihood initiatives.As part of the initiative, UNFPA also provided each survivor US$100, a Starter Kit, telephone and tailoring machine, among others.Speaking to the Liberia News Agency (LINA) at the 8th graduation ceremony of Fistula survivors at Phebe Hospital in Suakoko Tuesday, UNFPA Country Director Dr. Oluremi Sogunro stressed the need for serious attention to be given fistula survivors due to the critical nature of the disease.Dr. Sogunro said UNFA decided to provide the materials to the survivors to help them sustain re-integration into their respective communities, and urged community residents to accept and not stigmatize them.He told LINA that the 20 Fistula survivors came from various counties across the country and were trained and certificated in Cosmetology, Tailoring, Soap-making and Pastry, among others.He called on the beneficiaries to make maximum use of the items and knowledge they have acquired over the past months.

Meanwhile, the UNFPA official has blamed the prevalence of the illness to the increase in adolescent pregnancy among young girls in the country, and called on the relevant authorities to curtail such unwholesome practice.

In remarks, the Director of Family Health at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Caullaus Jabbeh, said fistula is of grave concern to the government as about 50 percent of delivery is done by untrained midwives, a situation which, he claimed, is the main cause of the disease.

Dr. Jabbeh explained that in 2006, a survey was conducted in four of the 15 counties to commence the fistula project and it showed that girls or women affected by the illness were ostracized by relatives and friends.

Regular Classes Resume At Robertsport High
By D .Ignatius Roberts, LINA Grand Cape Mount County Correspondent
ROBERTSPORT, October 21 (LINA) -Regular classes at the Robertsport High School in Robertsport City, Grand Cape Mount County resumed Wednesday with the deployment of officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) on the campus.The county education authorities called in the police to maintain law and order on the campus while school is in session.Classes were Tuesday suspended by the County Education Officer Dwight Harvey and the Principal Musu Dennis following a violent demonstration staged by the studentsMonday.
The students were protesting the decision of the school’s Parent Teacher Association to tax each parent an amount of L$200 monthly to cover the living expenses of six teachers at the school who are not yet on the government payroll.
The students argued that the government must assume responsibility for the payment of its employees, including teachers in public schools.
Dennis disclosed the resumption of classes in an interview with the Liberia News Agency at her office on Wednesday.Meanwhile, the principal has cautioned the students to desist from acts that could jeopardize their learning and instead design programs that will promote preparation for future roles in society.
Salala To Benefit From 5 SDF Projects
By Philip T. Singbah, LINA Bong County Correspondent
GBARNGA, October 21 (LINA) – Five projects under the Bong County Social Development Fund (SDF) are to shortly commence in Salala District, Bong County.The projects include renovation of the Martha Tubman Public School estimated at US$ 15,000; construction of the Fehla Community Hall for US$8,000; expansion of the Salala Clinic at US$97,689; a US$68,457 Donfah Elementary School construction and a Community Hall construction worth US$65,000.
The total cost of the projects is put a little over US$254,146.
The SDF is money generated from companies operating in a county as corporate social responsibility contributions and in keeping with Mineral Development Agreement entered into with the government.
Implementation of the projects is a decision reached at the County Development Council Sitting in Gbarnga in April this year. The sitting approves projects and allotments annually.Bong County Development Superintendent Anthony Sheriff told the Liberia News Agency (LINA) in Gbarnga Tuesday that the projects will be implemented by three construction companies.Sheriff said the county administration has had discussions with residents of Salala District, especially communities where the projects are being implemented, to assist the contractors for the success of the projects.He warned against purchasing materials intended for the projects from contractors as doing so will affect their timely completion.In a related development, the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) has broken ground for the reconstruction of the Teasly Mission in Teasly Community, Salala District estimated at US$68,000.Speaking at the ceremony recently, LACE Executive Director Julius Sele admonished inhabitants to take ownership of the project, noting “it is important for community members to assist with the project and avoid over-charging contractors for works they are supposed to do.”He said money for the project is provided by the Government through the Legislative allotment in the national budget, and lauded Senator Jewel Taylor for selecting the mission for upgrade.

MOE Urges Teacher Training Providers To Submit Documents

MONROVIA, October 21 (LINA) -The Ministry of Education has reminded
stakeholders that the deadline to submit operational documents of all private institutions and non-governmental organizations in teacher training is Monday, November 9.
In a release issued Tuesday, the ministry said institutions and organizations providing teacher training in the country should submit their documents to the office of the Assistant Minister for Teacher Education.“This is to ensure that you are in compliance with the Ministry of Education policies and guidelines to operate as an accredited and recognized teacher training provider,” the release stated.
LEC To Punish Staff Selling Meters, Poles
By Wellington G. Patrick, LINA Nimba County Correspondent
SANNIQUELLIE, October 21 (LINA) -The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) Nimba County office has threatened to penalize individuals involved in the sale of light poles, meters and public appliances to subscribers.Making the pronouncement in Saclepea recently at a one-day energy stakeholders forum, LEC Director of Planning Mohammad Sow said the decision is to ensure the proper management of the energy sector of the county.Several delegates and stakeholders at the forum complained about the illegal sale of light poles, meters and wires exorbitantly by some unscrupulous employees of the LEC.The official clarified that the entity does not sell those materials to customers, but rather it installs them free of charge as part of its responsibility to ensure that power is supplied across the county.He challenged the delegates to provide receipts bearing the names and signatures of individuals involved in the sale of appliances to enable the institution deal with them in keeping with the guidelines and policies of the corporation.Since the West African Power Pool (WAPP) began to supply electricity to the area a year ago, there have been constant reports of some LEC employees influencing subscribers to purchase meters and other appliances to get connected to the power grid.

NPA To Upgrade Free Port Road, Drainages
By Ballah M. Kollie, LINA
MONROVIA, October 21 (LINA) -The acting Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), David Williams, has disclosed plans to pave and reconstruct roads and drainages within the Free Port of Monrovia.Williams told a press conference Tuesday that the project has already been approved by the Board of Directors, while the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) process is underway.“We are also engaged with the Ministry of Public Works for its technical advice and intervention,” Williams added.Even though he did not indicate the total cost of the project, he pointed out that it will be completed by April 2016.Meanwhile, Williams has lauded the commitment of both ArcelorMittal and APM Terminals for their immense contributions to the achievements made
in upgrading NPA facilities.
CFH Launches First Cassava, Rice Harvest In Bomi
By David Pamas Seedee, LINA Bomi County Correspondent
TUBMANBURG, October 21 (LINA) – Care For Humanity (CFH), a non-governmental organization (NOG) based in Bomi County, has launched its first cassava and rice harvest in Senjeh District in the county.Speaking at the launch of the harvest Tuesday, CFH Executive Director Victor Johnson said the initiative is intended to help single mothers feed themselves and send their children to school.Johnson indicated that the cassava and rice production project, which covers 35 acres, will ensure that single mothers in the five districts in Bomi County are catered to and sustained.
He did not say the cost of the project.Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Senjeh District, who served as chief launcher, James Tarpeh, has lauded single mothers for their involvement in farming which, he said, will go a long way in making them self-sufficient.He appealed to other organizations to follow the example of CFH under whose initiative over 35 single mothers are currently benefiting.
Rep. Massaquoi Prods New District Citizens To Unite
By Ballah M. Kollie, LINA
MONROVIA, October 21 (LINA)  – Lofa Country District Number 3 Representative Clarence Massaquoi is calling on citizens of the newly-created Lukambeh District to see unity as the hallmark of attaining their long-term dream of development and growth.Massaquoi made the call when he addressed citizens of the district who paid him a courtesy call to present him their list of nominees for the positions of District Commissioner and Paramount Chief at his Capitol Building office in MonroviaWednesday.“Unless you hold together in having this work done, our justification for creating a district will prove the contrary against the need to govern ourselves, or the Act could be repealed in the future,” Massaquoi told the delegation.He urged them to constantly remind themselves of the basis and reasons for which they sought the creation of a new district while moving forward.“Our justification for this action must be demonstrated by our deeds and not words as this decision is not for us alone but also for unborn generations,” the young lawmaker said.Presenting the communication on behalf of the citizens, Jeff Nyandibo thanked Massaquoi for being insightful and supportive of the process of creating the district.

Three persons were nominated for the District Commissioner position, while only one person was forwarded for consideration as Paramount Chief.

The Government of Liberia in June 2014 and January 2015 created two new districts in Lofa County, bringing to 138 the total number of districts in Liberia.

The other district is Wanhasa, formerly a part of Kolahun District.
Man, 22, Jailed On Charges of Gang Rape, Aggravated Assault
By Comfort M. Johnson, LINA
MONROVIA, October 21 (LINA) –A 22-year-old man was jailed at the Monrovia Central Prison by the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice Wednesday on charges of gang rape and aggravated assault.Police arrested Edward Shepherd of the 9th Street community in Sinkor on October 11 based upon a complaint filed by a 25-year-old woman alleging that she was gang raped by Shepherd and four other unidentified men in a swamp at about 1: 00 am.According to the police charge sheet, Shepherd, along with the quartet, criminally took the victim to an entertainment center, got her drunk, dragged her to a nearby swamp and sexually assaulted her.The Police charge sheet indicated that the medical report from the Hope for Women International Hospital in Paynesville confirmed that the victim was sexually abused by the five men that day.During police investigation, Shepherd admitted being with the victim that night in the night club, but denied raping her.
He is currently awaiting trial while the four others are still at large.
LRCC Nudges Empowerment Of Liberian Construction Firms
By Calvin Brooks, LINA
MONROVIA, October 21 (LINA) -The president of the Liberia Renaissance Construction Company (LRCC) has observed that the rebuilding of Liberia will depend on the empowerment of Liberian construction companies.Mr. G. Delino Bryant also pointed out that Liberia’s post-war reconstruction and development strategy will be based on the effective training of Liberian constructors and engineers both at home and abroad.Bryant made the call in an interview with journalists Tuesday as the LRCC formed a public-private partnership with the Ministry of Public Works to enhance the maintenance of roads in the country.He indicated that the lack of drainages on roads makes it difficult to ensure the durability of most roads because they are destroyed ahead of their estimated lifespan.He said it is time to empower Liberian construction engineers to develop a construction engineering industry in Liberia, noting that foreign companies will not always be available to build roads in Liberia.Bryant said the private sector is the key to developing a middle income nation, noting that if government creates the enabling environment for Liberian firms, Vision 2030 will be realized before that time, adding that the private sector will create more employment than the public sector.

Gov’t To Construct US$65k Junior High School In Lofa
By Ballah M. Kollie, LINA
MONROVIA, October 21 (LINA) – Government has provided US$65,000 to construct a junior high school in Bondowalahun in Lofa County, District #3 Representative Clarence Massaquoi has disclosed.The school, the first since the creation of Lukambeh District, will serve students in Lukasu, Mbaloma, Gbelahun, Uphill Bondowalahun, Kimbalahun, Kailahun and other villages in the district.Massaquoi made the disclosure Wednesday when citizens of the district submitted to him at his Capitol Building office their list of nominees for the positions of District Commissioner and Paramount Chief.He said the government-funded project is part of his legislative initiative – an opportunity afforded all sitting lawmakers.According to Massaquoi, the contractor will be hired by the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), rubbishing claims that he diverted the project to another town instead of Bondowalahun.
“The money for this project is in an escrow account where my hands cannot reach. Moreover, I cannot undo this project as it has met legislative approval,” he noted.

Liberia News Agency (LINA)
Ministry of information Building
Capitol Hill, Monrovia

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