By Precious D. Freeman
Several victims of sea erosion within the West Point Community on yesterday staged a peaceful protest appealing to the government to help with their relocation exercise.
The chairperson for Disaster Victims Association Incorporated in the West Point Township, Daniel S. Grant, explained that the erosion disaster which occurred on June 19, 2020 wiped away about 52 homes leaving about 230 family heads victimized.
According to him, President George Weah heard about the incident and informed the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) as a means of handling the situation by first catering to them therefore, the Agency donated some 25kg bags of rice, gallons of groundnut oil and mattresses to each person.
Mr. Grant further explained that in addition, the President also promised to give each of them US$230 for relocation but the NDMA only gave 61 persons and 169 are said to be outstanding therefore, they consider the exercise as cheating and that the Agency had not been fair to them.
He added that since then, the NDMA always referred them to the Finance Minister, Samuel Tweah on remarks that Tweah knows about the disaster and also the donation so they decided to protest in front of the Ministry of Finance.
According to one of the victims, Ellena Sirleaf, since the incident she along with her four children have been sleeping in a school building and that she usually cleans the government toilet in the community before she is able to feed her children.
She added that as school has commenced, there is no way to put her children in school and her host, the principal for the school building where she sleeps, is telling her to find another place because there is not enough space for them in the school building.
Meanwhile when contacted, the Executive Director for Disaster Management Agency, Henry O. Williams, said the victims should be patient because they are working out modalities as out of the 230 victims, they have catered to 97 persons to date.
“Let us all be grateful to the President because he is always doing his best to make sure that those that such victims are always catered for and the way we are catering for them cannot be compared to even the great United States and all the past government have not done,” he explained.
He added that the reasons why there are some delays in the payment are because some of the mobile accounts provided are not correct and they are careful not to make payment in someone else’s account.
Mr. Williams further said at every step, he has to make report to the Finance Ministry before more money is given to settle other things.
The Executive Director for NDMA promised the protesters to stay calm assuring that very soon they will solve the problems because almost every day there is a disaster problem to settle which entails lots of expenditures.
Erosion Victims Plead For Help
By Precious D. Freeman