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Buchanan Port faces coastal erosion threat 

Liberia’s second largest port, the Port of Buchanan, situated in the country’s second commercial capital, faces imminent danger from rising sea level, which continues to pose a major threat to coastal cities.

By Lincoln G. Peters

Monrovia, Monday, June 3, 2024- Massive coastal erosion due to rising sea levels leading to flooding continued to threaten and hinder the operation of the Port of Buchanan, depriving the Liberian government of huge revenue in the form of millions of United States Dollars.

The Port of Buchanan is arguably the second largest Port in the country. It occupies over fifteen thousand acres of land, has a water department at high ties 9.5, and generates approximately three million United States Dollars annually.

To adequately address this challenge, over the weekend, a high-level delegation from the office of the Managing Director/Executive Director of the Liberia National Port Authority (NPA), Mr. Sekou H. Dukuly, concluded a day-long preliminary assessment visitation at the port.

The assessment was intended to ascertain first-hand experience and information regarding challenges confronting the Port of Buchanan, especially the growing threat of sea erosion.

The team was headed by Mr. Pewee Baysah, Executive Director of Public Relations. At the Port of Buchanan, the Chief for port Operation, Col. Nathanial K. Zorgay, took the team around.

During the team’s assessment, it was discovered that immediate intervention is needed to relocate the port’s administrative building, construct a coastal defense system to curb the erosion threat, and expand the Port peer to enable the facility to raise more revenue and mitigate the growing erosion threat.

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The team assessment further uncovered that the Port of Buchanan is fast disappearing and has the potential to deny the government millions in revenue generation due to low coastal defense, which has overstayed its usefulness. This has allowed erosion to come on the show, stalling operation, and damaging properties at the facility.

After the team’s assessment, the Managing Director of the Port of Buchanan, Mr. Jonathan Lambort Kaipay, also provided a comprehensive report to the team, coined ” Buchanan Port Assessment Report of challenges,” and a document including his vision and investors who have expressed interest in investing in the port.

Mr. Pewee Baysah received the report and presented it to the National Port Authority Managing Director, Dukuly, for review and subsequent action to address those challenges.

However, following the conclusions of the team’s assessment, Mr. Kaipay expressed excitement and appreciation to the National Port Authority Managing Director, Mr. Dukuly, for dispatching the team to conduct an assessment of the Port to immediately address the challenges comforting them.

Narrating the experience and challenge with sea erosion, Manager Kaipay disclosed that on May 21, 2024, they had a terrible experience with sea erosion, which led to the immediate halt of the Port’s operation for approximately two days.

He further indicated that the sea erosion threat is gradually increasing due to the lack of coastal defense walls, adding that the ones that were installed have since sunk, thereby leaving the port at God’s mercy.

According to him, the erosion led to the displacement of containers, the relocation of cars and other objects from inside to outside the port, the destruction of electricity, and the overflow of the entire peer and administrative building, which halted activities.

He said that Grand Bassa County and the government are gradually losing the port and may eventually lose millions of United States Dollars in Revenue Generation and Collection due to sea erosion if immediate action is not taken.

Now, providing recommendations to address the issue, the former Grand Bassa county senator urged that the National Port Authority and the government of Liberia construct a stronger and more sophisticated coastal defense wall to stop the erosion.

” We are appealing to our Manager, Mr. Sekou H. Dukuly, who has been doing well in lifting ports across the country, and the government to construct a new coastal defense wall to address this challenge. We want the government to bring a technical team that will conduct a feasibility study to save the second-largest port in Liberia,” he noted.

Mr. Kaipay further indicated that the Technical Team, hired by the NPA, government, and partners, will do the feasibility study and analysis and provide the project cost and timeline, but now it’s urgent.

When questioned about the financial cost of constructing the coastal defense, he said that he couldn’t tell because he is not a technician, but from his little experience in government, particularly at the Liberian Senate, it will be a little over one or two Million United States Dollars.- Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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