13 October 2016

Liberia: U.S.$1.2 Million Allocated for Sea Erosion Victims

Prince Anything Wreh, National Housing Authority (NHA Deputy Director for Administration, said government has allocated US$1.2 million for the construction of 100 housing units in the VOA Brewerville City for people affected by sea erosion.

Mr. Wreh made the disclosure yesterday at the Information Ministry regular Thursday press briefing on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.

He said the amount will go directly towards the relocation or repatriation of victims of sea erosion from West Point, one of the slum communities in Liberia.

"The NHA has negotiated for 25 acres of land for the construction of the housing units. The project will kick-off by December and will be completed early June 2017," Mr. Wreh said.

According to him, the construction of each unit will cost about US$ 8,000, where the government has also identified such initiative as a national emergency that needs quick attention.

He said the NHA will ensure that the units are purposely for those victimized by recent sea erosion victims only, not to be used for gambling, rent, lease, commercial center or school when completed in June of 2017.

"We will have adequate sanitation conditions, bathroom in each of the unit, massive and proper septic tank, and a good road network leading to the main road onward to the estate," he said.

Director Wreh disclosed that there has been a time were people residing in West Point engaged into finding place to sleep at night due to sea erosion that destroyed homes, adding that, "We see people with children leaving to get place for the night and even seeking refuge in canoes and churches. This rainy season, the situation has been more deplorable as well."

"Over a period of time, we are fully aware that our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who reside in West Point have become victims of the sea erosion. Over five thousand have been made homeless. This number was gathered about a month and half ago but with possibilities that the number has increased now," he stated.

Director Wreh said women and children continued to live in a devastated condition, which the government or NHA needs to intervene quickly, through relocation as is ongoing now.

He said statistics have shown that most of the people living in West Point are either fishermen or live on the fishing industry in that area.

Director Wreh further disclosed that the new location in Brewerville or VoA is also closer to the sea, which will accommodate their livelihood, adding that, "There should be no fear that future sea erosion would lead to relocation of the second West Point."

He stressed that only victims and homeowners will benefit from the 100 housing units, adding that 'Over the last two years, there have been victims of West Point who have formed an organization called West Point Victims Relief Association. We have 1800 family heads who signed a petition to have government voluntarily repatriate or relocate them."

Meanwhile, according to him, there will be a major conference at the Monrovia City Hall that will bring together all stakeholders from West Point to discuss and look at the plan for the US$1.2 million that has been provided.

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