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-Raging Storms Made Nearly 250 People Homeless

Representative Gabriel Smith of Grand Bassa County District Three has disclosed that Buchanan is facing “two prompt evils” which he named as rapid coastal erosion and persistent dangerous storms that recently struck the area and forced several people homeless.

According to him, there were two successive dangerous storms that hit Buchanan, the first occurred in April and the second and most dangerous one took place on the 17th of May this year which made nearly 250 family heads homeless.

He made the statement Monday May 23, 2016 when he appeared on a local radio in Monrovia. The lawmaker also added that the roofs of many houses were swept away by violent wind storms and people were forced sleep in open areas in the rain. “The next morning victims of the storms gathered at a local office in the area and complained the situation to county authorities.”

“When the citizens gathered at our local office in Buchanan, we called the Superintendent and the City Mayor along with the zone leaders to brainstorm as to what will be done concerning the situation”, he added.

In addition, he indicated that along with the Superintendent he made all efforts to inform the Ministry of Internal Affairs concerning the situation, but unfortunately they were told that funds allocated for disaster relief were taken away by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for unspecified reason.

“We are frustrated over the action of the Ministry of Finance because our people, many of whom are jobless, are languishing in the county without suitable sleeping place. These people are fully depending on county authorities for a way forward and we are also depending on the government to relate to us as well”, Rep. Smith lamented.

The Grand Bassa County lawmaker further mentioned that in 2009 a minimum amount of US$500.000 was allocated for the project to save Buchanan beaches from coastal erosion, but unfortunately according to the Minister of Lands and Mines and Energy same was never disbursed to the county.

“Late in 2012 Liberia received about US$3.4 million from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and an amount of US$500.000 was again placed in the budget to begin the costal defense program in Buchanan.”

He concluded that increased sudden waves of the sea erosion is so troubling that people in central Buchanan are getting apprehensive as to what might happen to Buchanan in the future to come if no concerted action is taken to stop such alarming occurrences.

By: R. Joyclyn Wea

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