28 February 2013

Liberia: Residents Petition House

Residents of Bushrod Island, Virginia, and Brewerville, Montserrado County have petitioned the House of Representatives to intervene following alleged threat from the Ministry of Public Works to demolish homes in less than a month.

Reading the petition on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at the Capitol, little Fadilla Shaibani of the J. W. Harris Memorial school, situated within the affected area said, the government which intends to construct a rail road approximately costing US$400,000,000 has failed to employ an alternative in order to avoid the destruction of about US$500,000,000.00 worth of properties and the displacement of more than 300,000 citizens. She said the government has committed a fundamental error by ignoring the plight of the people.

According to her, public governance requires that the formulation, evolution, modification and implementation of public policies must be in line with the moral sentiments of the communities they intend to affect. She added that the intent to implement the eviction order will lead to some consequential damages, including socio-cultural losses to the said communities and the residents.

Fadilla said about 75,000 students will be affected as a result of the planned demolition of 50 schools in the communities, adding that a significant number of the citizens of the affected communities will be exposed to serious health problem due to the lack of access to health facilities, which may be destroyed, including about 30 Churches and three Mosques.

"About a thousand of our business people majority of whom are women, will be subject of both criminal and civil proceedings for loans received from various financial institutions ,which are yet to be paid; these businesses are the only means of survival for our people", she note. She said residents of the three communities were calling on the House to prevail on the government to resettle them before the planned demolition exercise.

The petition was received Montserrado County District #17 Representative William Darket on behalf of the House, promising that the residents complain will be discussed in session.

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