The Government of Liberia through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have concluded a one-day validation workshop for the purpose of finalizing a proposed project document that seeks to address threats posed by coastal erosion in Southern Sinoe County.
Greenville, Sinoe County capital which is situated about 150 miles from Monrovia, faces serious threats due to coastal erosion. Greenville City has a population of over 16, 434 people.
Mississippi Street, one of the principal streets in the city, has almost been completely washed away by the Atlantic Ocean. But, the EPA and UNDP have taken steps to prevent the city from being completely washed under the ocean by developing a project entitled: ‘Enhancing the Resilience of Vulnerable Coastal Communities in Sinoe County, Liberia’.
The project will be supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Least Developed Countries Fund. During the GEF 7 Replenishment Period (2018-2019), each Least Developed Countries (LDCS) got an allotment of US$ 10 Million under the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCCF).
During the GEF’s Country Dialogue in 2019, there was an agreement that the allotment be used to address coastal erosion in Greenville City. Speaking at the start of a one-day validation workshop held early September, EPA Executive Director, Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh said the project was developed at a time when most coastal cities are being threatened by sea erosion, which continues to take away lives and properties.
According to him, the growing wave of coastal erosion is now affecting Liberia’s third port city of Greenville, Sinoe County. “The Mississippi Street and other streets in Greenville are being threatened by sea erosion. Our presence here demonstrates a national effort in working together to save the city of Greenville from sea erosion,” Prof. Tarpeh said.
He explained that as a chief architect of environmental and climate change governance in Liberia, his duty is to protect the environment from all environmental and climate change problems. The EPA Executive Director said the issue of coastal erosion is a priority for his institution and he will ensure that Liberia maintains a stable shoreline for economic development.
Prof. Tarpeh indicated that nine out of the fifteen counties are along the coast and all the coastal cities are being affected by coastal erosion. “During 2008, Liberia completed its National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPA), which was intended to address urgent and immediate adaptation actions for Least Developed Countries including Liberia,” Prof. Tarpeh said.
Liberia’s NAPA according to him identified three major cities including Robertsport, Monrovia and Buchanan for the construction of Coastal Defence System. Executive Director Tarpeh explained that NAPA implementation in Liberia was able to access GEF Least Developed Countries Fund in the amount of US$5.6 Million that addressed coastal erosion in the city of Buchanan.
“This project was successful in reclaiming about 500 metres of land thereby protecting Atlantic Street from being washed away as a result of coastal erosion,” Prof. Tarpeh said.
Prof. Tarpeh: “Of late the Green Climate Fund approved the Monrovia Metropolitan Coastal Resilient Project, which seeks to address the massive coastal erosion problem in the township of West Point.” He recalled that in response to threats posed to D. Tweh High School and Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, the EPA led the effort of accessing additional funding from GEF through UNDP that protected the shoreline of New Kru Town.
“Today, we were able to construct a sea wall to protect these institutions and other infrastructures,” he added. “We still need to do more work in this area to bring lasting relief to the people of New Kru Town."
The validation workshop was attended by stakeholders from line government ministries and agencies and local leaders of southern counties including Sinoe County Superintendent Lee Nagbe Chea.