-In 2006 It Was Called “Major Public Enemy”
-In 2015 It Is Called “Vampire Of Development”
-But Is The Regime Winning Or Losing The War On Corruption?
After nine years of intensive battle against Liberia’s “major public enemy”, corruption, it is not clear whether the adversary is still making more gains or losing ground in the territory of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led regime, although the denial of accused government officials of malpractices in the public sector makes it appear that corruption does not exist in the regime, creating the impression that the administration is a government of saints.
In 2006 during her inaugural address before a record crowd on the grounds of the Capitol Building, Pres. Sirleaf vowed to fight and confront corruption head-on, no matter where it exits or by whom is practiced. She then declared corruption as a “major public enemy” the first name.
But few months later, when the actual battle commenced with former Auditor-General, John Morlu ll, at the vanguard of the battle, he was recalled from the frontline, after being vilified and accused of conducting political audits, and in the end, Morlu’s tenure was never renewed, a situation many took advantage of and soon started to plunder the meager resources of the country that was just recovering from a 14 year of devastating civil war.
-Who Is Responsible?
-As Poor Set Up Mars Pres. Sirleaf’s Address
Questions are beginning to emerge over what appeared as poor and disgraceful logistical preparations for President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s annual ‘State of the Nation’s Address to the Joint Session of the Liberian Legislature, which however took place Monday, January 26, 2015 in Monrovia.
The usual last minute rush which most Liberians are noted for, led to several Traditional Leaders, including the Chairlady and other officials of the Tribal Governors Council, being humiliated during the President’s nation-wide address on the state of affairs of the country.
-Liberia’s Ebola Cases Down To 5
The United Nations has disclosed that Liberia is dealing with just five remaining cases of Ebola, the clearest sign yet that the country is nearing the end of the outbreak.
The worst outbreak of the virus in history has seen the West African nation and its neighbors, Guinea and Sierra Leone register almost 9,000 deaths in a year, although experts believe the real toll could be far higher.
The UN, whose health wing the World Health Organization (WHO) collates Ebola figures, said in a statement that the number of confirmed cases now stood at five and had even dropped as low as one earlier this week.
“According to the WHO, the five cases are laboratory confirmed cases,” Lisa White, a spokeswoman for the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, said.
She added that government figures for Tuesday had shown 21 suspected and probable cases, but with only one being laboratorily confirmed.
“WHO is supporting the government of Liberia in getting down to zero cases,” Ms. White said, adding, “now is the time to stay vigilant and make sure the good trend continues.”
-Says UYPETDL Project Officer
By Veronica F. Klay
A local civil society organization, United Youth for Peace, Education, Transparency & Development in Liberia (UYPETDL), has conducted its third in a series of anti-Ebola awareness and prevention campaign in the Cook spoon Hill community of District #3, Montserrado County, since the outbreak of the deadly virus in the country last March, 2014.
According to the group’s Project Officer, Dekontee Weah, UYPETDL has been working in the interest of Liberians, especially providing support people with disabilities and single mothers across the country. He spoke Monday, when his organization launched the project in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Weah stressed that while national and international health bodies are reporting encouraging signs of drastic reduction of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) across Liberia, it is however important that the dissemination of awareness and prevention massages are maintained.
-Cape Mount Almost Safe
By Charles P. Dennis
The head of the Ebola virus’ Incident Management Team at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Assistatnt Minister Tolbert Nyensweh, has revealed that Grand Cape Mount, one of the only two counties in the country still reporting cases of the deadly Ebola virus disease, may soon be declared safe, as far as the issue of the virus is concerned.
Addressing journalists during the regular Ebola update at the Information Ministry on yesterday, Mr. Nyensweh asserted that though Cape Mount had been considered the major Ebola incident zone of the country in the past weeks, it is incredible to note that in the last twelve days, a single case of the virus has not been reported or recorded, indicating that the area may in a matter of days, be ‘off the hook’.
By Eugene K. Myers
The Plenary of the Liberian Senate, in regular Session yesterday, mandated the House’s Committees on Budget, Internal Affairs and Rules, Order and Administration to revisit the legal framework of the much controversial County Development Fund (CDF). The Committees were ordered to submit their reports with in a two weeks period.
The CDF program, which was introduced by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during her first term in office, captured money paid by concession companies operating in the country, for use in fast tracking various development projects in Liberia’s fifteen geographical political sub-divisions.
The mandate for the review came as a result of a formal communication from Grand Cape Mount County’s Senator, Edward Dagoseh, in which he requested the August body to establish a County Development Trust Fund.
U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac has officially handed over the keys to the new Barkedu Health Center, which was funded with U.S. Government support, to Lofa County Health Officer Dr. Joseph Bolongei.
During a ceremony, Ambassador Malac complimented county and local officials and members of the community for working to improve health care as well as combat Ebola, noting that “Lofa County has led the way in showing the rest of the country how to chase out Ebola from Liberia.”
Among those present at the handover January 22 were Lofa County Superintendent George S. Dunor, local officials, and community members.
“We extend our thanks to the American people for this gesture,” Superintendent Dunor said on behalf of the residents of QuarduBondi District, who will benefit from the better-equipped facility.
The Head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) says while there is tremendous volatility and turmoil around the world, this year presented a unique opportunity to eradicate poverty and agree on a path for sustainable development.
“At UNDP, we see 2015 as a huge opportunity to advance the global sustainable development agenda,” said Helen Clark at the opening session of UNDP’s Executive Board meeting in New York, adding that
Representatives of the Governments of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, are meeting in Freetown, under the umbrella of the Mano River Union, a sub-regional political grouping comprising the four countries, to agree on methods to control and prevent disease outbreaks in the border areas.
The United Nations supports the initiative, according to Amadu Kamara, Crisis Manager for the UN Mission Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) in Sierra Leone. Kamara told the gathering that included Ebola Response administrators, medical officers, technical and operational planning experts from all four countries that Ebola could not be defeated without “addressing its regional dimensions.” The virus should be seen as “one epidemic with many fronts,” he said.
Dubbed the “Sub-regional Ebola Technical Meeting on Border Surveillance and Disease Control,” participants hope to formulate guidelines that will regulate how patients, corpses and laboratory samples are transferred across borders. Such guidelines will also focus on cross-border surveillance conduct and contact tracing.
Donations from U.S. private-sector foundations, companies, and individuals have been vital to the response that is helping to bring the Ebola outbreak under control in Liberia. Officials from two key foundations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, visited Liberia January 17-19 to see how their organizations’ contributions are being used to support the Ebola response. Earlier in the week, they stopped in Guinea and Sierra Leone to assess response efforts in those countries.
The CDC Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to connect CDC with private-sector organizations and individuals to help make the world healthier and safer through public health programs. Since 1995, the CDC Foundation has provided $450 million to support CDC’s work, launched more than 750 programs around the world and built a network of individuals and organizations committed to supporting CDC and public health.