Paynesville – The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Professor Wilson Tarpeh in June 2022 claimed that all the allocations he made in the draft 2022 National Budget was removed, thereby leaving the EPA without funding to tackle environmental degradation in Liberia.
Fact Check By: Jerry Gaye | LVL Fact Checker
Prof. Tarpeh made the claim when he appeared before the House of Representatives on Thursday, June 23, 2022. He claimed that the EPA did not receive any budgetary allotment in the approved 2022 fiscal budget.
His appearance at the House of Representatives was to respond to concerns raised by some lawmakers on the alleged spillage of harmful chemicals in the Mafa River by Bea Mountain in Grand Cape Mount County
Said Professor Tarpeh: “Everything I put in the budget for EPA was removed; I have to rely on international partners”.
Here’s a excerpt from the transcript of Prof. Tarpeh’s remark:
Everything I put in the budget was removed; I have to rely on international partners. The environment is a serious business. My appeal to you is to invest the money, and I am not asking for an investment that you will not get back. I came here and said if you give me just 5 million, I will return that money in three years and at least I will give you a million dollar every year. I need your support! We are doing what has to be done. Any company can disagree with what we say. I am sharing your concerns, you can disagree.
Local Voices Liberia Fact Checking Desk has been verifying the claims made by the EPA boss; here’s what we found:
What Did EPA Propose in the Draft 2022 Budget?
A review of the draft National Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 shows that the amount of US$ 2.1 million was proposed for the EPA. The chart below indicates the objects of expenditures as proposed by the EPA in the FY2022 Draft Budget (also see below a screenshot of the draft budget).
|Objects of Expenditure||FY2022 Budget|
|Compensation of Employees||1,260,927|
|Use of goods and services||355,424|
|Foreign Travel-Means of travel||6,924|
|Water and Sewage||6,000|
|Telecommunications, Internet, Postage & Courier||28,000|
|Office Building Rental and Lease||70,500|
|Fuel and Lubricants – Vehicles||24,000|
|Fuel and Lubricants – Generator||54,000|
|Cleaning Materials and Services||12,000|
|Workshops, Conferences, Symposia and Seminars||134,000|
|Climate Change Adaptation Programme||500,000|
Is the EPA Covered in the Approved 2022 Budget?
We also reviewed the approved 2022 Fiscal Budget and found that US$1.76 million is allotted to the EPA. The approved Budget, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by the President, came into force on February 28, 2022.
This means, the US$2.1million proposed by the EPA was reduced to US$1.7 million and not removed as claimed by the EPA Executive Director.
Out of the total US$1.76 million, US$1.26 million is allocated for the payment of salaries of EPA employees; US$226,359 allotted for procurement of goods and services; US$273,510 is allocated for Climate Change Adaptation and programs, while US$80,000 goes toward conduct of workshops, conferences, among others.
We also checked the approved FY2019-2020 and FY2020-2021 budgets and found out that US$1.29 million and US$1.38 million were allotted for the EPA for the aforementioned fiscal years.
After a careful review of the 2022 National Budget, we conclude that the claim made by Prof. Tarpeh that every budgetary allocation to the EPA was removed is incorrect.
We found that the US$2.1 million proposed by the EPA in the draft 2022 National Budget was reduced to US$ 1.7 million in the approved National Budget – the amount proposed was not removed as claimed by the EPA Executive Director.
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