‘Ebola Cases on the Decrease’

first_imgThe Minister of Internal Affairs, Morris Dukuly, on December 12, 2014 confirmed that the risk of contracting Ebola is on the decrease.  This, he said, is attributed to the tireless efforts made by the Government of Liberia, as well as non-government organizations and members of the international community.“As the Ebola crisis continues to decrease in the country, members of the Ebola Burial Team need to be remembered not only as health workers but as heroes,” Minister Dukuly declared.He said that the burial team had played a significant role in the fight against the virus and should be encouraged and appreciated, especially since they stand at a high risk of getting in contact with infected persons.“As we all know, since the outbreak of the virus people have been talking about the nurses and doctors who have fallen prey to the epidemic, as well as others still in the fight. Unfortunately not much  attention has been paid to the Burial Team, which I think we need to consider. Those young men are risking their lives on a daily basis and it is only too fair to be grateful for their efforts.”He encouraged citizens to continue all the necessary preventive measures, as specified by the Ministry of Health and its partners, adding that Ebola is real and is still in the country.  He said  complacency and failure to take precautionary measures could lead to yet another outbreak.   The fight against the Ebola virus needs to be done collectively if Liberia must win the battle against a viral disease that has claimed the lives of thousands of our people. “The Ebola fight is more than just a government thing. Rather, it is a situation in which we should all get involved, beginning from our family level.”He lauded the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Carter Center for being supportive, stressing that partnership at the local and international levels is essential to the fight against the Ebola virus.Meanwhile, Min. Dukuly has condemned all act of elections violence, and called on  political leaders to exercise tolerance in the upcoming Special Senatorial Election.Also speaking to journalists was Deputy Internal Affairs Minister, Varney Sirleaf, who said that his Ministry received US$484,000 to enhance the fight against the virus; and not seventy thousand as  indicated by some media entities.Minister Sirleaf said that US$150,000 was allotted to set up the cremation site for Ebola bodies; while US$16,000 was used to build two pumps in the Johnsonville Community, owing to the lack of safe  drinking water there.As part of the fight against the Ebola virus, Montserrado, Bomi, Bong, Nimba and Lofa were chosen by the Ministry as a result of the high risk of infection faced by the three counties.  Special attention was paid to these regions and  the balance funds are being kept for unforeseen circumstances.  Meanwhile the Ministry is expected to decentralize its activities in the various counties across the country, in order for rural dwellers to have easy access to its activities. 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 Church Needs To Invest In Agriculture to Deal with Food Security’

first_imgThe Senior Pastor of Providence Baptist Church (PBC), Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr., has encouraged religious institutions to invest in Agriculture, such as in the cassava sector, to help enhance food security in the country.Dr. Reeves said the involvement of the church would make a significant impact on the lives of many Liberians amidst the evident  food insecurity.The Baptist preacher made the  statement recently when he was called to offer the benediction at the end of the launch of the National Data Collection National Data Collection on Cassava Value Chain and the official opening of offices of the National Cassava Sector Coordinating Committee.The program brought to the fore over 100 farmers across the country, Agriculture Minister Florence Chenoweth and senior officials of the Ministry as well as international partners.Dr. Reeves urged farmers to work together in unity and move from Sustenance or Subsistence Farming to Mechanized Farming to make farming a business.He hailed international partners for helping to sustain food security in the country, describing their help “as from mat to mattress.”He committed the Providence Baptist Church to be the first church to engage in Mechanized Farming beginning with the cassava sector to lift cassava through value addition.Providence Baptist is Liberia’s first church.  It was there that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 26, 1847 to make the country a sovereign state.“Let me also challenge religious institutions and the church to get involved and let me say to the Cassava Coordinating Committee that if you don’t have any church involved, the Providence Baptist Church will be the first in the process.”His assertions might have stemmed from various speakers’ admonition but especially from the US Embassy Economic Officer Caroline Dow,  who said cassava can contribute to the country’s food security and reduce rural poverty.“Cassava cultivation has the potential to contribute substantially to socioeconomic development both in the rural and urban areas. Investing in it and the value chain has a positive impact on food security to improve livelihoods of farmers, producers, processors and traders,” Madam Dow said. Agriculture Minister Dr. Florence Chenoweth, who also spoke at the program, stressed the need for Liberians to intercrop rubber with cassava to increase production.It is observed that despite the urgent need to improve food production, there are many rubber farmers only engaged in rubber production rather than food crops.The National Cassava Sector Coordination Committee (NCSCC) is a national body set up through a public-private initiative to regulate the activities and development of Liberia’s cassava industry.It was set-up through a European Union fund which is being implemented by ZOA and ADRA in Liberia.The four-year project, which began in 2013, is value about US$2.2 million dollars.The Project, known as the Cassava Value Chain Development, is presently ongoing in Bong, Montserrado, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties.Cassava is a food crop that is entwined in the lives and culture of Liberians and can reduce hunger and a supplement to the country’s stable food, rice.Liberia has a favorable climate to grow cassava in large amounts and processed into a variety of products to be sold in  local and foreign markets.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more