27 August 2014

Liberia: West Point Residents Make Plea for Relocation After Sea Erosion

Monrovia — Already under Ebola quarantine, residents of the West Point Community were facing another devastation after sea erosion wiped away several houses on Monday.

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica, Beatrice Thomson a mother of 9 children explained that at 5am Monday morning while still in bed the sea water overflowed the community destroying properties and homes in the Kru Beach community. Beatrice says her 12 bedroom house with 19 tenants was washed away by the water making them homeless.

"The road closed so we can't go anywhere right now so we don't know what to do. And I have 8 grand children", she laments. She says after the erosion she and her children have been passing the night with friends and will continue to do so until they receive come kind of help. "Just last week, I lost one house and this week, I lost another yesterday. Nowhere for me to carry my children, my children plenty"

Pleading for relocation

Beatrice says she will be glad if the government can relocate her and her family to avoid further occurrence. "I will be very, very happy if the government could find a place for us because we have nowhere to go now".

Unlike Beatrice, others are calling for the government to relax the quarantine to allow them leave the West Point community to enable them stay over with their families instead. Rose Guanu 21 told FPA, she does not want anything but prefers to be allowed to return to her family saying she had only gone to visit and got trapped.

Rose says "I want government to open the road, so that I can go, I am not living here I only came to visit. Here it, they don't want me to go. I don't even have clothes". According to Rose her friends whom she had gone to visit have been providing her food, but the erosion has damaged their house and she is not sure if they will continue to host her.

Sometimes back residents strongly resisted the government's request for relocation, but it seems the latest sea erosion is leading to mounting calls for government to find another place for them to settle.

The latest erosion is the second time that the sea has caused damage to houses in the community. Residents affected by the erosion gathered at their damaged houses early morning to receive their food ration being distributed by the government and some agencies. West point has a population of about 75,000 and the majority live on fishing and petit trading.

Many residents are believed to be among some of Liberia's poorest and are currently being quarantined by the government for 21 days or more to avoid the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

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