Heroes in Ebola Fight

first_imgThe tiny edifice of the Christ Kingdom Harvest Church located in the New Georgia Community was a scene of sober reflection and the revelation of heroism yesterday when church and community members along with government officials and members of the diplomatic corps gathered to add another dimension to the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.The occasion was the “Ebola Must Go” campaign, which was launched by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The edifice and community were chosen for the occasion for a more significant reason — their exemplary role play in the fight against the Ebola scourge.The church congregation sang and danced to the famous choruses, “We are more than conquerors. Greater is he that is in me and victory is my name,” etc.  One might wonder what might have prompted the original authors to pen these songs, but the community and Liberians in general, have reasons to sing as EVD is now receding after several calamitous months.  Victory is indeed their name as they are yet to report new cases in the past three months.Though Ebola is yet to be finally eradicated from the country, success stories have begun to emerge and the New Georgia community stands out amongst many, owing to the early measures its leadership put in place when the area was initially hit by the virus.When the first few cases were reported, the entire community was in disarray, but the community in collaboration with the church quickly formed a strong partnership to better manage the crisis.A community taskforce was formed; people began to move from house to house with the message and identifying and getting out the sick, consoling and caring the infected. These things (community residents) did with their own resources and efforts.The community chairman, J. B. Walker Dennis, said the community was hard hit in August with 12 persons dying, though five were actually confirmed Ebola cases. It was predicated upon this that the community decided to take action to ensure its safety.He said since the formation of the taskforce and the rigorous exercises of awareness and identifying the sick, when the family of 17 was also quarantined, the infection rate began to decline. Mr. Dennis said presently the community has eight survivors. Though the community lost about 12 persons to the virus, it could have been more if they had not stood up as a united force to combat the virus.The government and international partners, specifically United Nations Mission Emergency Ebola Response (UNMEER) have hailed the community and church’s significant contribution to the fight.These were specifically hailed for their heroic efforts for putting in place their own stringent measures that have led to the safety of the area for the past three months without new cases.They have also been lauded for embracing the Ebola survivors, caring for families in quarantine homes and finding a home for six children who lost their parents to Ebola, with the church at the forefront of these initiatives.President Sirleaf lauded the community for its heroism, and noted that Liberians need to take responsibilities in their communities if Ebola is to be eradicated from Liberia, as this community has done. “Follow all of the preventive measures; keep sick people away from others. Speak out if you know that someone is sick.”She said Liberians have made great progress in stopping Ebola, but “we know that the disease is still in our country.  We all have to intensify our efforts to travel that difficult, very difficult last mile.”“I heard someone say to go from hundred to ninety is hard, but to go from ten to zero is even harder. Through our efforts, the disease has retreated into places that are hard to reach.”“This is why I’m joining this community that has been such a strong group in fighting Ebola. We are launching it in a place that has made the difference. So the banner says stopping Ebola is everybody’s business.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Alpha Sorority Distributes US$100,000 Medical Supplies

first_imgEight hospitals, ETUs and clinics last Friday took delivery of medical supplies estimated at US$100,000 from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., during a program held at the Fish Market in Monrovia.  LPRC Managing Director, T. Nelson Williams, president of Eta Epsilon Lambada Chapter, before the distribution, said the donation was in response to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s appeal to Liberians last July to join the fight against the then raging Ebola Virus Disease.  “We realized that the Liberian government did not have the capacity to respond to the fight and therefore we made contact with our sorority friends in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, who mobilized to support the fight against the virus,” he said.   He indicated that additional supplies, expected to arrive very soon, will also be distributed to hospitals outside Montserrado County. The Alpha Phi Alpha, he said, is a brotherhood organization that seeks to relieve humanity of difficulties, adding that the sorority will not relent untill the Ebola virus disease is eradicated from the country.       He called on Liberians not to resort to complacency because of the drastic decline in Ebola infections.  Responding on behalf of the Incident Management System, Health Assistant Minister Tolbert Nyeswah commended the fraternity, along with others, and noted that the supplies would go a long way to help sustain gains achieved so far in the Ebola eradication effort.  Minister Nyeswah warned that Liberia is not yet out of danger, since “there are a couple of positive cases, here and there.”  He urged Liberians to continue practicing Ebola preventive measures.  He recounted Alpha Phi Alpha’s contributions since July 2014, and commended the organization for its continuous support to the national fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.  Monrovia City Mayor, Mrs. Clara Doe Mvogo, also expressed appreciation to Alpha and urged Liberians to keep observing Ebola preventive measures to ensure the end of the virus in the country.  Earlier, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who briefly joined the distribution event, commended Alpha Phi Alpha for their invaluable contribution to support the national effort.   Vice President Joseph Boakai, also in a passing visit, expressed appreciation to Alpha Phi Alpha for the valuable contribution and promised 600 cartons of tuna fish to be delivered to the benefiting institutions.  The eight beneficiaries are the Bensonville Hospital, Lakpazee Clinic, Clara Town Clinic, THT Hospital and Hotel Africa ETU.   Others are Curren Lutheran Hospital in Zorzor, Lofa County, TB Annex Health Clinic and Duport Road Health Center.The items included examination gloves, surgical gloves, Clorox, wipes and surgical masks.   The rest are assorted surgical items, ICU materials, injection needles, IV lines, syringes, tourniquets and spinal needles.On behalf of the recipients, Mr. Samuel Tarplah of the Unity Conference Center ETU, expressed gratitude to Alpha Phi Alpha and assured them and their U.S. based partners that the medical supplies would be used for the intended purposes. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

CCTV systems and crime issues

first_imgDear Editor,There are many reasons available for blaming the crime situation, and many people are investing their hard earned money for some sort of protection. One of the most comforting means for them is security cameras. Now, a lot of unscrupulous people are obtaining outdated/condemned CCTV systems from overseas and selling them to people at exorbitant fees, and these systems do not provide the expected proper service. Some of these dishonest people are using footage from other systems, and even from what makes the news, and promoting themselves on social media as if the system they are selling is responsible. Whilst they cannot be charged for false promotion, the unsuspecting victims’ money is being wasted, because they eventually have to buy new systems because they are not getting the service they expected from the waste they purchased.Quite a few people have been scammed, and l bluntly told them so after I was asked to look at their system when they encountered problems.A while back, I penned a series of letters advising on the type of system and camera they should look for, and setting for their system to help get better footage.Editor, a woman’s shop at Zeelugt was recently twice broken into. This happened one Wednesday night, and again on the following Saturday night. A few weeks after, thieves again broke into the shop. On each of those occasions, she suffered great losses. Now she has a security system installed, but when she could not locate the footage on the DVR, she called me after the first two times. I went, and was able to locate the footage, which showed four boys committing the crime. The footage could not identify any of the criminals properly, so no one was charged. That was because the cameras were not properly set, and the lighting was bad. On my advice, she rearranged the cameras and lights, and was quite pleased with the results after. The footage was hard to locate because the CMOS battery had gone bad in the DVR, thus every time the DVR is switched off or there is a blackout, the DVR goes back to the manufacturing timing and starts recording. So, what you have is a DVR with multiple footage of same dates and timings all over the hard drive.One way to eradicate that problem is: if you notice your DVR timing/date going back to the default settings or DVR malfunctioning, chances are the CMOS battery is bad and should be changed immediately, because definitely you would encounter problems when you try to retrieve footage.These are simple problems, but apparently many so-called experts cannot solve those minor problems. Many are setting cameras in such a way that it would be impossible to capture an intruder’s face properly if that person is wearing a cap. Criminals are becoming wary of cameras, and people should explore the possibility of installing cameras in concealed places. Security system installation has many issues, but as I have stated, these are some of the main issues. I hope people would have their security apparatus fixed, so they could get help from them.Sincerely,Sahadeo Bateslast_img read more

Rodney a fighter for unity, justice and dignity (Pt 2)

first_imgDear Editor,Once more we are seeing racism being used as a policy of the State under this A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) regime. Discrimination is a tool of promoting and keeping people divided. Immediately on taking power hundreds of Indian Guyanese in the public service have been fired. The public service has been practically cleansed of Guyanese Indian origins.The same has happened in all the public corporations and other constitutional offices. Even the Judiciary seems to bending in the direction of the dictatorship.The People’s National Congress (PNC), now APNU, has not lost its hate of Walter Rodney.One of the first things it did in 2015 was to halt the International Commission of Inquiry into the assassination of Rodney. Not much more was left to be done, but they stopped it.Many of Rodney’s ex-comrades, who still pay lip service to his work, have become the new oppressors; they have joined forces and are part of parcel of the corruption and discrimination taking place. Unlike Rodney, for them and the PNC, a black dictatorship is better than a democratically elected Government and this was passed down to high-ranking Army and Police Officers.Some of them even, very skillfully, try to show him as a violent person. Now we are being told he was amassing arms. The message here is that Burnham had a right to kill him.In March of 1980, Walter Rodney, Eusi Kwayana and Rupert Roopnaraine held a press conference in which they handed out two documents. One claimed that the PNC took delivery of weapons from the Guyana Defence Force on behalf of the House of Israel and the other claimed that orders for the assassination of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) members.In that same press conference, they all denied the allegations that the WPA was engaged in a conspiracy of violence.What was really happening was the PNC was preparing a case to murder Rodney. The propaganda was being used to poison Guyanese people’s minds to prepare them for June 13, 1980. Unfortunately, the comments of Rupert Roopnaraine recently has given some credibility to the nasty propaganda that the PNC used against his party at that time.The PNC racist element will never forgive Rodney. They are victims of their own propaganda. His unmasking of the PNC racism was done clinically and the racial card they used against the People’s Progressive Party was ineffective against him.That hatred persists to this day. This regime not only prevented the Rodney Commission from completing its work, but they have not made public the report of the work that was completed. They have locked it away, continuing to try to hide their bloody hands.Those ex-comrades of Rodney who are now prominent in the new racist and oppressive offensive should really take time to evaluate their own positions. Many are as bad as, or even worse than, the PNCites. They have become beneficiaries of a corrupt and racist state.Rodney’s life was short but meaningful and productive. He will always be remembered as a champion of the poor and powerless. His all-round intellectual work sought to liberate the minds of colonial peoples generally and black peoples in particular.His message to the African Guyanese masses today would most likely have been to urge them not to be used by the PNC again to go against their own interests for racial satisfaction. Instead, to unite with all progressive and democratically-minded Guyanese to halt the drift to dictatorship and give dignity to all our people.Yours truly,Donald RamotarFormer Presidentlast_img read more

Is that such an outlandish desire?

first_imgDear Editor,Mr Winston Mars, in his letter that was published on December 5, 2019, in a section of the media, was critical of the recent protest actions by sugar workers. In expressing his criticism, Mr Mars contends that “…more than 60 per cent of its expenditure had to be apportioned to wages” and against that background sugar workers should not get any pay rise. It appears to us that the letter writer is a stranger to the industry. Certainly, was he knowledgeable, he would have known that in 2018, about 45 per cent of costs concerned employment. Of course, we should mention that expenditure included from the lowest to the highest-paid employees, it also concerned monies paid to the industry’s pensioners as well as monies expended on transportation, purchase of safety equipment, among other things.Mr Mars said that “…some middle ground has to be reached here quickly…” but in the very next breath said, “…the workers and their unions must be aware that the situation in the industry is not getting better but rather worse”. It appears that the middle ground spoken about is really a skewed attempt to say workers should swallow bitterly no improvement in pay though they do not control and direct the industry. It should be recollected that it was not the workers that secured a $30 billion bond. Certainly, it was not the workers that significantly stripped the industry of its assets and are selling them at a fire sale. Definitely, it was not the workers that stood by with arms folded and allowed a public escalation between the NICIL-SPU and the GuySuCo. Undoubtedly, it was not the workers that have caused the locking away of bond proceeds aimed at re-vitalising the industry. The fact is that the workers are the least responsible but the most affected.The sugar unions are next accused of making “…unreasonable demands… over the decades …”. It appears, in Mr Mars’ mind, that it was some cardinal sin to give sugar workers a pay rise. It was wrong to want them and their families to live a decent life. It was a crime for wanting them to be better able to cope with the cost of living. And, it appears, at least in the letter writer’s mind, that only certain persons must move up and others left behind.It is next said that the workers’ actions are influenced by the Opposition. This is most funny. The workers’ actions are influenced after they soberly consider their situation. In considering the situation, the workers would well recognise that they are unable to cope with the costs of contemporary life. They would be aware that their dollars are not going as far as they once did. They have the distressing and depressing situation of looking at their families and knowing that they cannot afford them a little treat or a special meal at Christmas time while they see others around them having a merry time. That, Mr Mars, is the mindset of the workers. They simply want to live happy and contented lives. They just want to work dedicatedly and receive decent earnings. Is that such an outlandish desire?Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral Secretary,GAWUlast_img read more

Cummings Lodge murder suspect surrenders

first_imgMurder suspect, Damion HopkinsonOne day after the Guyana Police Force issued a wanted bulletin for Damion Hopkinson, 27, of Lot 55 Industry, East Coast Demerara, for questioning regarding the murder of Anita Mohan, the man has surrendered to the Police in C Division (East Coast Demerara).This was confirmed by a senior Police official, who further stated that Hopkinson is cooperating with the Police. He posited that the man has given a statement and the case file will soon be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further legal advice.Hopkinson was named the second suspect in the murder of the 48-year-old greens vendor, who was brutally killed in her Cummings Lodge, Greater Georgetown home on September 5. He was implicated in the murder by the woman’s nephew, Kevin Mohan, who gave a detailed account of what took place on the fateful night. The nephew, commonly called “Chucky”, was arraigned for the woman’s murder.Police subsequently confirmed that the woman’s head was bashed in, with a single stab wound to her chest. A bloody rolling pin, suspected to be one of the murder weapons, was found in close proximity to her body, as well as a broken beer bottle.Murder suspect, Kevin MohanAn autopsy performed on the body of Mohan revealed that she sustained a chop to her head and one near her temple, along with a stab wound to her chin and one to her mouth. The perpetrators also cut off a portion of her tongue before strangling her.last_img read more

Mauritanian National ‘Kidnapping’ Case on Course

first_imgTrial of a Mauritanian man held on bail for allegedly taking away his three children without the knowledge of their mother will shortly resume at the Monrovia City Court after a superior court, Criminal Court ‘A,’ on Tuesday, September 23, ordered it to do so.Mohammed Seedee Falee was charged with “Kidnapping” after an incident in which he took three of his children, Asia Mohammed, Sedemey Mohammed and Ali Mohammed to his native country without the knowledge of their biological mother, Jamelia Sylla.At Tuesday, September 23rd hearing, Judge Johannes Zlahn mandated Magistrate Kennedy Peabody to take over the case by declaring, “The Monrovia City Court is hereby ordered to resume jurisdiction over the matter.”Judge Zlahn had earlier halted Magistrate Peabody from further hearing the matter following a complaint filed against his initial ruling by lawyers representing defendant Falee.Initially, the Magistrate had mandated the defendant to produce the three children within three weeks period as of July 18.He also made defendant Falee to sign a promissory note, indicating that if he does not produce the children within the time specified, he would be jailed at the Monrovia Central Prison and his bail be set-aside.However, in the Criminal Court mandate, Judge Zlahn further declared that the court was only responsible by law to grant the defendant a bail, but not to go any further with the case.“Magistrate Peabody was to transfer the entire matter to the Criminal Court for an indictment to be drawn against the defendant by the grand jury for Montserrado County.”According to him, it was not in the preview of Magistrate Peabody to compel the defendant to prepare any promissory note or threaten to incarcerate him if he does not produce the children within three weeks.He maintained that the matter before the Monrovia City Court was for it to conduct preliminary hearing and to make sure that the defendant was bailed.“The court has the mandate to arrest and bail defendant, but not to render any decision into the matter,” he added.Before Judge Zlahn’s action, Magistrate Peabody rejected a “Motion for Enlargement of Time,” filed by Falee’s lawyers.The defense team, in their request argued that the Ebola outbreak in Liberia was making it difficult for people to travel beyond the country border.In that direction, they claimed the movement of citizens and foreigners have now become difficult, occasioned by the reported transmission of the disease to other people by travelers from Liberia.This situation and, the announced state of emergency by the government, the lawyers further claimed, have also compounded the existing problems.This, according to them, has rendered the defendant unable to produce the living bodies of the children before the court on the August 11 date.The case started in early July 2014, when Madam Sylla claimed that the defendant unlawfully took away her three children from her residence to an unknown direction where they were treated as a slave.She further alleged she feared that the children may have being killed. Therefore, she asked the court to ensure that her children are made to return to Liberia where the defendant illegally kidnapped them.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Competitive Spirit Compromised by Corruption’, Says Baptist Prelate

first_img“The educational crisis in Liberia is becoming a crisis for the entire economy, thus endangering our country’s ability for a brighter future. As such, there has to be critical awareness of our social reality through reflection and actions where we have observed that people nowadays use their connection to acquire higher positions rather than worth (value) the merit,” the president of Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (LBMEC), Rev/Dr. Olu Q. Menjay has observed.According to Dr. Menjay, a fundamental problem in the Liberian culture today is that too many people want to bypass the small assignments and are attracted right to the big jobs—jobs with the influence and prestige; jobs with huge budget and massive financial benefits.Dr. Menjay is also the vice president of Baptist World Alliance and Principal/Chief Administrative officer, Ricks Institute and Assistant Professor at Mercer University, Macon Georgia, USA. He spoke recently on the theme; “The Emergency for Relevant Education in Liberia,” when he delivered a keynote address at the 25th Commencement Convocation of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University (AMEZU) held on their Vincent Town campus along the Bomi highway.During the ceremony, inadequate sitting capacity compelled both the parents and some of the graduates to scramble for a single seat. This situation detracted graduates and most of their invited guests’ attention from the keynote address and other important parts of the program.The 890 graduates have over the years studied and completed various academic disciplines including Management, Sociology, Accounting, Economics, Public Administration and or Religious Study, among others.For Dr. Menjay, there is the need for the government to institute radical actions with urgency to bring back the merit system rather than relying on connectivity, “because we have no time to play around, else, we will die or the future of our existence as a country will be miserable.”“We cannot build this country on incompetency or on weak footing; we cannot build our country from the top by strengthening only higher education, because we need to widen our definition of education—to see it as a process that starts before kindergarten and takes place outside of school as well as inside.”The Baptist Prelate added that the essential value of education is to prepare today’s people to be not only tomorrow’s servants, “but also to be the caretakers of our environment, the tenders of our global relationships, the creator of our arts, and the innovators of enterprise.”He believes that the key to bringing educational reform to reality in Liberia is allowing competition to thrive amongst the students and schools.“Today, completion is not encouraged, because the competitive spirit that used to exist in our learning culture has been compromised by corrupt educational practices to include buying and selling of grades, nepotism, and laziness.” According to him, Liberians are being driven more so by receiving certificates and degrees, and not on the ability to perform.RecommendationsNevertheless, Rev. Menjay recommended that incentives for performance must be encouraged among students and schools, where one should not be penalized for not doing well or achieving higher marks.“Regardless of one’s background, tribe, county of origin, the political connection, economic status,” Rev. Menjay opined that one should be rewarded according to performance.In his mind, the significance of merit-based system in the Liberian educational system has diminished, and in its place, people paved their way up by getting connected through other means, whereby successful societies in the world embraced competiveness.“If we must advance to a brighter future in this country, we must create space for competition and merit-based rewards, politics must take a back seat when we select persons to lead our schools or our educational system. Competence, effectiveness, accountability, vision and energy should be the criteria,” Dr. Menjay suggested.He said, Liberia must get away from compromising her educational standards and offerings for any gimmick (attention-grabber), but must strive for excellence.The global economy now, he said, is first and foremost established on creative knowledge and technology, where critical thinking and problem-solving skills are paramount as are abilities to innovate and to collaborate with others.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Dr. Menjay Appeals for Emergency Education Reform

first_imgThe president of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, Rev. Dr. Olu Q. Menjay, has stressed the need to restructure Liberia’s education system with urgency.According to Dr. Menjay, Liberia has an emergency for education reform which demands an immediate and urgent action to achieve the reform process.“This emergency requires radical actions and therefore must be treated as a life time or death situation where we have no time to play around,” he said.He believes that anything short of this, the future of our existence as a country will be miserable.Dr. Menjay, who is also Principal of Ricks Institute, a Baptist high school, made the disclosure recently in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer at his office in Virginia, outside Monrovia.   He observed that the education crisis in country is now becoming a crisis for the entire economy, endangering the country’s prospects for a brighter future.He called on stakeholders to create a critical awareness of the country’s social reality through reflection and actions.According to him, to improve and transform Liberian education, everyone, including state actors, “must recognize our imperfection by acknowledging our own deficiency.”As a school administrator, Dr. Menjay said it pains his heart when 95 percent of passes made in examinations administered annually by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) for Liberia’s high schools are very weak passes.He said a scale from one to eight with eight being the limited passing mark, over 95 percent of the students who passed, made eight on the scale.As such, he observed, “It is worrisome to know that in Liberia, only a single student passed the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Exams (WASSCE).”It is annoying to know that the country does not have adequate textbooks for students, said Dr. Menjay, adding that it is critical because there is no future without quality education.Rev. Mejay is also vice president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and Principal/Chief Administrative Officer of Ricks Institute, one of Liberia’s premier institutions of learning.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Proverbial ‘Faithful Player’ Returns to Home Turf

first_imgMayango Jallah, Liberia’s proverbial ‘faithful player’ who refused attractive offers from Mighty Barrolle and Invincible Eleven to leave St. Joseph’s Warriors is presently visiting family in Liberia from the United States.Jallah told the Daily Observer over the weekend in company with former team-mate Armah Baxter that he was in the country during the height of the Ebola crisis and is now in the country to see family and friends.He resides in Illinois, Chicago in the United States with his family.Known popularly as Mayango during his hey days in the 80s and early 90s, Jallah was the glue that held St. Joseph’s Warriors together due to his tireless work-rate, said team-mate Jonathan Armah Baxter.Like his colleague, Baxter, who also played for St. Joseph’s Warriors and later Barrolle and NPA, Mayango was one of the dependable players for the national soccer team, Lone Star.“He was committed to the game and played his heart out for his club and the nation,” said Baxter who partnered with him in the 80s.Playing along with great players, including Baxter, Nathaniel Naplah and George Johnson, St. Joseph’s Warriors became a portent force that demanded respect in Liberian football circles at the time.Mayango was one of the top players who had a great deal of self-discipline on and off the field. His football career spanned from 1981-1991. He took Warriors to the LFA highly competitive knockout and league championship and CAF Cup Winners Cup competitions.On the national team Mayango played alongside James Debbah, now national coach, and soccer legend George Weah and worried many opposing teams in Africa.Reviewing the current misfortune of Liberian football, particularly the national team, Lone Star and the players, Jallah paid a glowing tribute to the late President Samuel Kanyon Doe for his invaluable contribution to national team players.“President Doe provided us with opportunities, including tuition fees for all national team players to attend university,” Jallah said, “and I’m glad that I took advantage over that provision.”In the United States Mayango acquired BSC and Masters’ degrees in computer science and Managing Information System and BSC in Accounting.He said he hoped that footballers would receive national support and they must also understand that there is life after football if education is prioritized in their life.Mayango’s dedication to St. Joseph’s Warriors was unmatched, and many fans still use his dedication whenever lessons are drawn for the lack of commitment to the national team and to the clubs by current players.Visiting Liberia he spends his time with his mother in Kakata, and visits old school and team mates.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more