The availability of quality housing has always been a challenge for refugees the world over. A problem the government of Liberia through Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission LRRRC and United Nations High Commission for Refugees UNHCR has endeavored to correct by the construction of 100 modern housing units for Ivorian Refugees in Bahn, Nimba County through its local reintegration program.
Stressing the importance of finding a home in the country of asylum and integrating into the local community, Liz Ahua, UNHCR Regional Representative for West Africa encouraged refugees to embrace their new homes and abide the constitution and laws of their host country Liberia.
"I am extremely happy to be a part of the number of activities happening here today. You witnessed the groundbreaking for 100 modern housing units with two bed rooms, bath and sitting rooms each. It is milestone for us to be able to present those structures after due consultations with the government of Liberia through the LRRRC and the UNHCR", she told refugees at ceremonies held in Bahn, Nimba County.
She indicated "the construction of these units will mean the area will no longer be a camp but rather a settlement that will bring together both Liberians and the refugees. Refugees could chose to go back home for whatever reason. But in as much as they are here both the government of Liberia and UNHCR are prepared to support them to locally integrate into the Liberian society".
For his part, Executive Director of the LRRRC Festus R. Logan said the construction of facility does not only provide shelter for refugees but it solidifies President George M. Weah quest to provide quality housing for the underprivileged especially those within the boundaries of Liberia.
He mentioned "there are a lot of enthusiasm in the faces of both refugees and their host the people of Bahn. The building of these structures is in line with the President George M. Weah's pro poor rural housing project that he has initiated".
"The government provided the land that is about 310 acres and we have deployed our men to provided expertise for this construction. This is not a surprise for me. We have been visiting here and explaining the President's own vision for rural housing", he said.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Dumbia Mousa, Camp Chairman thanked the government and UNHCR for the gesture to the refugees but appealed for the allocation of additional space to allow them expand in the future.
He noted "we thank the government of Liberia for providing us hospitality and protection eversince we came here. And they continue to do a lot for us. We appealed to you to please increase the dimension of the homes given to us. We would want to expand our house in the future and we will need adequate space".
"We the refugees appreciate a support you have given us including cash and material. We want the government of Liberia to please include the teaching of French language in the secondary schools here to fully accommodate our students", he added.