The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has warned that more critical infrastructure could be rendered un-usable within the next three to five years if immediate actions are not taken to tackle the evolving sea erosion in coastal counties.
EPA Executive Director Madam AnyaaVohiri, said the John F. Kennedy national referral Hospital, key electricity distribution center, the D. Twe High School, the West Point Settlement, the Providence Island and a number of market places and transportation infrastructure risked being affected by sea erosion.
Madam Vohiri disclosed that so far, six hundred seventy four (674) households have been displaced due to sea erosion of coastal settlements and additional thirty thousand (30,000) families stand the risk of being affected if no urgent action is taken to remedy the situation.
The EPA Executive Director spoke Thursday during the validation of the Monrovia Metropolitan Climate Resilient Project held at Bella Casa in Monrovia. The project is in the tune of 35-million
United States Dollars. The money will be sourced from the Green Climate Fund through the project to build coastal defense in West point, New Kru Town, JFK, BTC among others.
In remarks, Deputy Minister for Budget and Development Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning Madam TannehBrunson, noted that government attaches seriousness to the project, considering the impacts of climate change on the coastal landscape of Liberia. According to Madam Brunson, the situation on the coast of Buchanan in Grand Bassa County as well as the coast of Montserrado County are clear examples of climate change that call for collective efforts to adopt and mitigate the effects.
The Deputy Minister told the participants that Liberia has demonstrated its commitment and readiness toward contributing to the global climate change efforts through the ratification of the Paris Agreement, something she said has given Liberia an opportunity to access funding from the Green Climate Fund, Global Environment Facility and others.
For his part, UNDP Country Director CleophasTorori, said, Liberia like most African Coastal Countries, are vulnerable to climate change impacts. Mr. Torori said experts project a sea-level rise in Liberia of 0.13-0.56 meters by the 2090s, relative to sea level from 1980-1999.
He disclosed that Liberia is ranked 8th in the World for the percentage of population living in low elevated coastal zones, low human development, low incomes and low coping capacity, thus making the country highly vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise and extreme weather events.
He further hinted that with a sea level rise of 1meter, West Point, New Kru Town, Rivercess and Robertsport will be affected. Also speaking, Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Urban Affairs Mr. Stephen Neufville said cities must be saved, resilient and supported to be used as instrument of economic growth. Mr. Neufville revealed that following years of Liberia inability to submit its country’s urban report, the bridge has been crossed with Liberia now on track after submitting its urban report to the UN Habitat at a meeting held in Quito, Ecuador.
He committed the Ministry of Internal Affairs, especially the Department of Urban Affairs to working with the EPA and all stakeholders for the success of the project. The Monrovia Metropolitan Climate Resilient Project validation workshop was attended by the relevant line ministries and agencies as well as civil society and environmental NGOs.