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Around The Country: Updates From Four Counties – December 5, 2020

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


Grand Cape Mount County: Teachers Concerned about Covid-19


Shevell E. Scott, Bridge International Supervisor in the county | Photo By: Jenneh Kemoikai


Over 81 teachers of schools in Sinje Garwul District have completed a three-day training ahead of the reopening of schools in the county.

The training was organized by Bridge International, according to Shevell E. Scott. It comes following the training of 58 school principals in the county. Scott said the exercise is to buttress government effort ahead of the new school year.

But some of these teachers have expressed concerned about the implementation of various COVID-19 preventive measures ahead of the resumption of schools.

COVID-19 is not yet over, said one of the participants, Mr. Gbassa Sonii. He said, “some teachers are afraid of going back to school”. There should be “serious health measures” put into place before schools can reopen,” he added.


Grand Bassa County: Strict Adherence to Covid-19 Rules on Election Day


Several buckets and drums for hand washing were donated to the health sector of the county ahead of December 8 poll | Photo By: Elton Wrionbee Tiah in Buchanan.


Ahead of the special Senatorial Election, Mr. Ali Smith, the county’s Deputy Election Magistrate, has advised voters to continue observing health procedures. Mr. Smith stressed that voters without nose masks during the special senatorial election, will not be allowed to exercise their voting rights.

Magistrate Smith said, “Our action is not aimed at denying electorates their right to vote but to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease”. He was speaking at a one-day media forum in Buchanan organized by the Media Democracy Initiative.

Smith said poll workers will also make sure that COVID-19 preventive materials are available at all voting places for voters who will not have.

He added that cue controllers will direct every voter to follow Covid-19 preventive measures.

“We are calling on the citizen and inhabitants of Grand Bassa County to continue to abide by the Covid-19 ordinances of the Ministry of Health,” Smith said. The health protocol includes the wearing of nose mask, observing social distancing and hand washing, among others.


Margibi County: Residents Concerned About Flouting of Protocol


A road leading to the community had one of the two “COVID-19 check points’ or hand washing stations. It has been removed due to the lack of support | Photo By: Aria Deemie


A community leader of the Goshean community in Margibi County is concerned about the lack of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during these elections period.

“COVID-19 is a global pandemic and we the citizens should take it very seriously and try to take every precautionary measure,” Mr. Freeman said. “As for me, it is my major concern because I don’t know what sought of mechanism Government will put in place regarding this election and COVID-19.”

Freeman is also worried that community members are no longer observing the preventive measures, adding that people leave their various homes without wearing nose masks.

Elton Gaye, another resident of the community who runs a mini money exchange bureau, claims that “the Government is not paying attention to the health protocols anymore”. Gaye noted that even law enforcement officers are ignoring the regulations.

Data released by the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) on December 1 put the country’s total number of confirmed cases at 1,676 with 235 being active confirmed cases.

So far, Margibi County has recorded 84 confirmed cases – out of this, six deaths were reported, and 73 persons recovered. Although the county has only recorded one confirmed case since December, the fear of the pandemic is still glaring among some residents. The violation of the physical distancing protocol is also drawing ire.


Maryland County: Sanitary Concerns at Ivorian Refugee Camp


Pit Latrines (pictured above) on the refugee camp are inadequate to serve the growing number of refugees | Photo By: Bryan Dioh


Hundreds of Ivorian refugees at the Little Welebo Refugee Camp in Maryland County are complaining about the lack of medical, water and sanitation facilities — a situation, they say, might create a health crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Alaces Bedia, a refugee who spoke through an interpreter, told LocalVoicesLiberia that they have been facing several challenges including seeking health care services.

“Since we came to Liberia, we have been suffering here at this camp even though we know this is not our country and being a refugee is very hard, but my brother, the suffering is too much for us,” laments Bedia.

Representatives of the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who recently toured the camp to access the situation, said that over 500 new refugees arrived in Liberia in early November. This puts the total number of new refugees at 700, according to UNHCR.

County officials have said that there have been limited number of health workers at the Little Wlebo Refugee Camp since the closure of the camp back in 2018.

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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