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NPA & senate collaborate to save Liberia’s costal region

The Liberian Senate and the Management of the National Port Authority are collaborating to protect Liberia’s coastal region.

By Lincoln G. Peters 

Monrovia, Liberia, June 10, 2024—The National Port Authority is collaborating with the Liberian Senate to address sea erosion in Liberia’s coastal region as a national emergency while seeking budgetary allocation and bilateral agreement to curb the situation. 

The initial conversation to save the Port City of Buchanan in Grand Bassa County and the country’s entire coastal region was championed during the Senate’s four-day retreat in Buchanan.

Liberia’s costal region includes Maryland, Montserrado, Sinoe and Grand Bassa County. 

On Saturday, high-power delegations from the office of NPA Managing Director Mr. Sekou H. Dukuly, headed by Mr. Pewee Baysah, and the Managing Director of the Port of Buchanan, Mr. Jonathan Lambort Kaipay, had conversations with senators at the retreat.

The conversation was held with Senate Pro-Tempore Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence and Senators Gehzohgar Milton Findley, James P. Binley, Saah Joseph, Albert Tugbe Chie, and Augustine S. Chea. 

Meanwhile, Senate Pro-Tempore Karnga-Lawrence has promised to constitute a team to assess some of the challenges the Port faces, especially the level of damage the sea erosion has caused. 

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Following the conclusion of the cooperative conversation with senators, the Executive Director of the Port of Buchanan, Mr. Jonathan Lambort Kaipay, held a press conference on Saturday, June 8, to thank the senators for their commitment to addressing Liberia’s coastal erosion region challenge.

Mr. Kaipay urged the Liberian government, through the Senate, to recognize the urgent need for a coastal defense project as a national emergency. 

He urged the Senate to allocate funds in the next national budget to initiate this critical project of constructing a coastal defense wall and described the situation as a national emergency.

“We want the senators currently in Buchanan to see this as a national emergency, and they should put some money in the budget to begin implementing the coastal defense project for Buchanan City and Liberia’s coastal region. We want them to see the need to champion as a national emergency knowing the threat it poses to our people and economy”, he stated. 

According to the former senator, the fabric of Liberia’s tourism is gradually being taken away by sea erosion, something he warns needs immediate intervention. He urged that his colleagues see this as an opportunity to save the Liberia Costa region. 

According to Kaipay, President Boakai needs to bring the proposal for coastal defense construction to the attention of strategic partners and developing countries with experience in coastal defense to seek their expertise and assistance to protect Liberia’s vulnerable coastal regions.

“The situation affects not only the port of Buchanan but the entire Grand Bassa County. The coastal defense project will mitigate these risks through collaborative efforts and international support, ensuring a sustainable and secure future for Liberia.”

He reflected that during former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration, a coastal defense process was introduced to collaborate with international partners and investors and put some money in the budget to see how they were going to develop a national coastal defense project.

“Over the years, the coastal defense budget was about 2 million United States dollars, the port of Buchanan is a huge investment. If we call it an emergency, it’s beyond NPA management and financial capacity because it will cost millions of dollars,” Kaipay added. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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