The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Liberia have concluded the first phase of a 100-meter costal defense project in the Borough of New Kru Town, suburb of Monrovia.
A press release from UNDP says the low cost and low technology innovation was implemented by the Center for Environment and Development in Africa (CEDA), a local non-governmental organization, with funding of US$50,000 dollars from the Global Environment Fund (GEF) Small Grants Programme, utilizing gabion groins and revetment that villagers as well as community people can learn, accept and use with little or no side support.
The General Manager of CEDA Samuel Wesley, said the project also built the capacity of over 10 local community members through training, to help mobilize materials and manpower.
At a brief program marking the end of the first phase of the project under the theme: “Combating Coastal Erosion in Local Coastal Liberia” held at the demonstration site in Popo Beach, Borough of New Kru Town, residents expressed appreciation to UNDP for the project that is helping to prevent their homes from falling prey to high and rough wave of sea erosion in the area.
“For too long the residents and citizens of the Borough of New Kru Town have been thinking about how the issue of the sea erosion that was wiping away the town would be attended to…The erosion has affected so many people….”, said S.Tugbe Worjloh, Vice Governor of the Borough.
Vice Governor Worjloh praised UNDP for going to the rescue of the Borough that was being entirely wiped out by the sea.
He said while the completion of the first 100 meters is laudable, UNDP should strongly consider the extension of the project to save other homes and properties, including the D. Tweh High School, the only public high school in the Borough.
Bishop P. Manasseh Conto, a resident of the community and pastor of the Mission for Today Holy Church Incorporated, extended appreciation to UNDP and partners for undertaking the coastal erosion project, especially in New Kru Town.
Bishop Conto said the project is evidently helping to save the Borough from sea erosion.
Also speaking, UNDP Small Grants Programme Manager, Samuel Boakai, told the community to take ownership of the project by ensuring that it is sustained and protected.
“If this project succeeds, New Kru Town gets safe and when New Kru Town is safe, you are the first beneficiaries, so you must see this as yours and own it….” Boakai said.
He said the project is one of UNDP’s flagship Programmes and its protection should be paramount to the community.