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Carter Center ends training with traditional chiefs

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The Carter Center Liberia Access to Justice Program has ended three days interactive training with traditional chiefs in Liberia.

The training was aimed at strengthening public health law and dispute resolution capacity forum. It brought together national traditional chiefs at the administrative building in Kakata, Margibi County from July 8th to the 10th.

The participants discussed containment of the deadly Ebola Virus, criminal conveyance of land law and the role of traditional chiefs in government, among others.

Speaking during the program, Carter Center Liberia Chief of Party, Pewee Flomoku, said the forum is in continuation of the Center’s effort in strengthening indigenous leaders on dispute resolution capacity building.

He said the national traditional chiefs capacity building forum is intended to help the people of Margibi County fight against the resurfacing of the Ebola Virus Disease, and othe challenges faced by the county.

Flomoku narrated that the resurfacing of the killer disease needs the involvement of everyone’s idea in the fight, adding that from the first outbreak when his institution began a nationwide tour meeting, it solicited involvement of every community.

He disclosed that communication is his major challenge in working with chiefs in the country.

According to him, chiefs will have to focus on the public health law, including their responsibility as community leaders as well as issue on dispute resolution because they are the people, who maintain peace in their communities.

Also speaking, the head of the traditional Council of Liberia, Chief ZanzanKorwor, called on traditional chiefs to limit traditional practices and observe the preventive measures in fighting the Ebola Virus and cooperate with the Carter Center Liberia.

Chief Korwor said with the assistance of traditional leaders in the fight against Ebola, further spreading of the virus across the country could be curtailed.

Moreover, he urged indigenous leaders and national traditional chiefs to limit customary practices in the awake of the disease, stressing that strangers entering villages and towns should be reported for record keeping.

At the same time, Superintendent John Zubah Buway of Margibi County extended gratitude to the Carter Center Liberia Access to Justice Program family for empowering indigenous leaders in handling dispute resolution.

Superintendent Buway said Margibi is currently faced with confirmed cases of Ebola.

He said when the virus resurfaces in the county, local authorities immediately contacted all of the county’s task force members to report urgently and added the county has setup a task force at the clan, township, district and county level.

According to him, the county has asked all paramount chiefs, clan chiefs and general town chiefs to convene meetings in their respective control areas to discuss how to curb the spread of the new cases.

Superintendent Buway said the county authorities are doing everything necessary to support these meetings so they can be able share information about strangers entering their villages and towns.

However, he disclosed that the main challenge is the stage of denial, adding, there is a still huge denial among the locals. By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi – Editing by Jonathan Browne

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