President George Manneh Weah has told people living along the beaches here that beachside properties are very expensive and are not for poor and vulnerable people but for middle class.
“The beaches are very expensive, but we have vulnerable people that have the opportunity to live on beach. And you know to live on beach around the world is expensive. You are to be a middle class …,” Mr. Weah said Tuesday, 6 November.
Speaking at the opening of the High Level Inception Meeting of the Monrovia Metropolitan Climate Resilient Project (MMCRP), Mr. Weah said there is a need to create economic zones in the country for people.
He says this is one of the reasons why he has made investment in developing the coastal areas a priority.According to him, government is determined to protect Liberia’s seashores, and there are experts around the world that are willing to help invest in coastal defense projects.He underscores the importance of the Legislature and Liberia’s partners giving their support and working together to achieve this plan of protecting Liberia’s seashores.
He says his plan is to develop Liberia in the time he has to rule, whether it is within six or twelve years.He notes that Liberia has so much resources and its people must not sit and see the country go down the sea, urging the need to invest more for the nation’s development.President Weah encourages the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to go out and find investors to invest in this venture to make it economically viable.
He says government’s intervention is not just about protecting the sea shores, but he wants to see electricity, bar, restaurants along these coastal areas and create an economic zone that will benefit the people.President Weah expresses thanks to partners including the UNDP and the EPA for believing in protecting the environment.
Earlier, EPA Executive Director Mr. Nathaniel Blama alerted that food in Liberia is reducing due to climate change, indicating further that the urban cities have been threatened by massive erosion.Due to climate change, Mr. Blama says study has proven that agriculture production in Africa will drop if “we” go above two degree temperature.
According to him, coastal erosion, agriculture, health, forestry and biodiversity are areas that will be badly affected due to climate change.In terms of food security, he says obviously it will be affected and production will drop by almost 40 percent.
Mr. Blama says roads deplete faster because of climate change, and it’s even going to deepen more and Liberia’s GDP will decline.However, Mr. Blama notes that government submitted a funding proposal to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), but the proposal fell short of certain technical details so there was a request for Liberia to redo it.
To facilitate the study, Mr. Blama says GCF further provided over $800,000.00 to redo to Liberia.Already, he says government has hired CDR, which has done preliminary study and made a presentation during a recent meeting at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
By the end of February 2019, the EPA says it hopes that this study would have concluded, and also hopes to get funding approved by end of June next year.The agreement should be signed between government and Green Climate Fund by September 2019, and actual works are expected to commence in December 2019, according to the EPA boss.
In his presentation, CDR Founder and CEO Rep. Mr. Dirk Heijboer identifies five hotspots for massive erosion in Montserrado County, which include Hotel Africa, New Kru Town, West Point, Barclay Training Center (BCT) to Capitol Hill and Bernard Beach to John F. Kennedy (JFK) Hospital.
He says these stretches combined are about 13 to 14 kilometers, noting that it was a quite intensive study but they got a good result.He emphasizes that Hotel Africa needs attention because a lot of the facilities have disappeared in the ocean due to erosion.
Similarly, he acknowledges that work is ongoing in New Kru Town, but more still needs to be done there.UN Systems Coordinator here in Liberia Mr. Yaucob El Hillo says the issue of erosion is not a problem for Liberia alone, saying he understands that the entire West Coast of Africa is under threat.
House Speaker Bhofal Chambers pledges the support of the Legislature, saying they will do their best in ensuring the reclaiming of Liberia and reserving it for posterity.Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill expresses President Weah’s support and commitment to protecting coastal areas.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah