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Around The Country: Updates From Seven Counties – July 24, 2020

Stay informed with happenings in your county, follow LocalVoicesLiberia every week day for the latest update on COVID-19 and other important developments.

 

Bong County: Superintendent Calls for Action as Caterpillar Worms Invasion Rages


Superintendent Walker is worried that if there’s no intervention the situation will undermine food security | Photo By: Emmanuel Mafelah


Superintendent Esther Walker has launched an appeal to national government through the Ministry of Agriculture and to other partners to come to the aid of farmers facing the raft of a caterpillar worms’ invasion.

The situation has brought farming activities to standstill, forcing residents to flee their homes as the caterpillars contaminate water and barricade farms in parts of Suakoko, Zota, Jorquelleh and Fuanmah Districts.

Superintendent Walker is worried that if nothing is done to ease the situation, there will be serious food crisis in the country, adding that “farmers might just go to square one”.

Speaking to LocalVoicesLiberia Thursday July 23, in Gbarnga, she called on the MoA to quickly come to the aid of the “poor farmers” by providing them the needed assistance including insecticides to get rid of the caterpillars.

Peter Mulbah, a resident of one of the affected communities, said, “The caterpillars have damaged our farms and even our water to the extent that they have come into the town. For the past two days, we have not gone on our various farms but [we are] just in the town. It’s very bad for us.”

Bong County Agriculture Coordinator, Kollie K. Nah, confirmed the caterpillars’ invasion and said the MOA is doing all it can to promptly intervene.


Lofa County: Farmers Concerned About Access to Monrovia Markets


The group is worried that the Voinjama market cannot consume its harvest and accessing markets in Monrovia is challenging | Photo By: Arthur Koweh


A group of four agricultural entrepreneurs collaborating to enhance food security during the pandemic is facing “serious challenge” in transporting fresh agricultural produce to Monrovia markets.

The foursome just completed the harvest of four hectares of watermelons farm but are unable to transport the produce to major markets outside the county.

The head of the group, Christopher Mawolo, is calling on partners and business people to help market their produce, adding that they do not have sufficient storage facilitate.

Mawolo is worried that the Voinjama market cannot consume the quantity of watermelons they have harvested, thus the need to transport some to Monrovia where a huge number of potential buyers are.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, commercial drivers have hiked transportation fares, making it difficult for many farmers to have access large markets.


Sinoe County: Wash Project Dedicated


The newly built water facility has the capacity to supply at most 100 homes daily | Photo By: Augustine Sokan


The Association of Evangelical of Liberia (AEL) with funding from Tearfund has turned over a US$40,000 wash facility to Unification City, Tarjuowon District.

According to Lawrence B. Myers, project supervisor of AEL field office, the project, which started in May 2019, is intended to give residents of the city safe drinking water. It has the capacity to supply at most 100 homes daily, he said.

Myers said residents in rural Liberia suffer the effects of not having access to safe drinking water, a situation that prompted the implementation of the project.

During the turning over the facility, he said due to insufficient funding, his entity could not extend pipes to homes and other parts of the community.

Senator J. Milton Teahjay, who joined a cross section of citizens, appreciated AEL for the facility and assured that he will work with residents to properly maintain the facility.

Before the dedication of the facility, AEL had trained 15 community members, who will spearhead the operations and maintenance of the facility.


Grand Bassa County: Seven Nurses Test Positive For COVID-19 in LAC


The County Health Team has confirmed that seven health workers at the Liberia Agricultural Company in District #4 have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 17 as of July 24.

Gregory Walker, Deputy Incident Manager for the county’s COVID-19 response, said 44 specimens were collected on July 21; seven were confirmed positive, nine results are pending, while three samples were misplaced. He added that there are 74 high risks contacts which are all health workers.

A health worker, who was admitted at the LAC Hospital on July 7 and transferred to the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia on July 9 for other health reasons, later tested positive for COVID-19 on July 14, George said.

That case appears to be the index case of the outbreak in LAC.

“Upon receipt of the information regarding her confirmation of COVID 19, the Grand Bassa Incident Command System immediately launched an investigation at LAC Hospital where the case was previously admitted for the other medical conditions,” he explained.

“With the high cases from LAC Hospital, we might Likely Close the Hospital”. The LAC hospital is a major health facility in that part of the county, providing health services for over 10,000 people on its rubber plantation and also providing services for hundreds of thousands more in the district.”


Grand Gedeh County: ‘Timely’ Intervention

A non-governmental organization in the county has distributed some food items to a cross section of people living with disabilities.

The United Grand Gedeans for Development Youth Association (UGGDY) is a community-based organization that seeks to protect the well welfare of ordinary Liberians in the county by providing capacity building through educational programs.

Lyor Kpap, County Coordinator for UGGDYA, told LocalVoicesLiberia that the food distribution is a joint contribution from the organization’s sponsors based in the United States and was intended to help underprivileged people during the pandemic.

“I want to use this opportunity to extend thanks and appreciation to Mr. Fred Quiah and Team UGGDYA officials and members based in the diaspora, kudos for the timely intervention,” Kpap said.

Sharron Godu, one of the beneficiaries, said the donation was timely. “Today I am so happy to receive this rice; it came the rightful time because my entire house was empty,” she said.


Maryland County: Patients Turnout at Health Facilities Improves


Less than 10 persons were seeking treatment at public health facilities a day, but the recent improvement has seen the number raising to more 25 persons visiting health facilities a day | Photo By: Bryan Dioh


County Health officer Dr. Methodus George has announced a 70 percent improvement in patients seeking treatment at health facilities in the county since the COVID-19 outbreak.

The improvement came in awake of massive awareness launched by the County Health Team about the coronavirus Pandemic.

Many residents of the county have since expressed dissatisfaction about the lack of public awareness about COVID-19 as rumors and misinformation spread about the pandemic; thereby making many people to avoid seeking health care at health facilities in the county.

Augusta Nugbe, head of the community health services division of the CHT had said that there was a drastic drop in the number of patients seeking treatment at health facilities because of misinformation and rumors about COVID-19.

Less than 10 persons were seeking treatment at public health facilities a day, but the recent improvement has seen the number increased to more 25 persons visiting health facilities a day, Dr. George said.


Gbarpolu County: Red Cross Trains Volunteers


The volunteers were trained in providing first aid in communities and how to carry out COVID-19 awareness | Photo By: Henry Gboluma, Jr.


Seventeen Red Cross volunteers on Thursday, July 23 completed a two-day training in COVID-19 awareness and how to conduct first aid in their respective community.

The Health Program Officer the Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS), Tamba Boima, said the training was a refresher for the volunteers.

“We trained these people to sharpen their understanding of the coronavirus and basic first aid because from the beginning of this outbreak, they were creating awareness based on information from radio and flyers on this virus,” said Tamba.

Meanwhile, the LNRCS county field officer, Seth Toweh said the “added knowledge acquired” will ensure volunteers enhance the public awareness about COVID-19.

“The more people are reminded, the better their minds will be focused on fighting this war together, ” he added.

Robert J. Samah, one of the volunteers, said,“We will be showing people in our assigned community how to wash hands, wear masks and helping to provide basic first aid during this health crisis.”

Satta Mannor, a female volunteer, added that part of their work will involve “encouraging people to be making use of the health facility. “As first aiders, we will be providing first care when necessary, and refer severe illness that we can’t handle,” she said.


 

Local Voices Liberia is a network of dedicated Liberian journalists based in the 15 counties working to lift the development concerns and progress of rural communities.

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