Distributes face masks and detergent to residents of rural communities
For many Liberians in hard-to-reach rural areas, having access to face masks is a luxury that they can't easily afford. In these rural areas, the price of face masks is sometimes triple what it would cost in the urban areas.
For this, Odella Flomo, the reigning Queen of Miss Earth Liberia, has embarked on a campaign to donate reusable marks to rural communities residents.
The project, which she kicked off last weekend, saw her distributing 1,000 handmade cloth masks to rural communities in Bomi, Gbarpolu, and Grand Cape Mount counties. Miss Flomo also donated hand sanitizers, soap, and some food items to residents of these areas.
According to Miss Flomo, coronavirus is dangerous, and with Liberia experiencing a dangerous third wave, she could not sit idle without helping to sure everyone feels safe.
“We wanted to be able to provide that kind of support so that they too can be able to be safe from the coronavirus,” she said. “And not only for them but for their families and communities.”
“I am very passionate about this Nationwide Mask Up Campaign because COVID is real and very deadly… And I don’t think it’s going to go away anytime soon, so the best we can do for ourselves as a nation is continue to educate our people about the safety measures of this disease,” added Ms. Flomo.
The donation was done in partnership with La Queen Entertainment, the organizer of Miss Earth Liberia, the National Port Authority, and the Weah Project.
It is part of Miss Odella Flomo’s coronavirus prevention campaign, dubbed, ‘Mask Up’. The campaign goal is to reach as many hard-to-reach rural areas as possible with masks.
The campaign also includes basic information on safety and preventive measures, distribution of Face Masks, and other items in the 15 counties.
The campaign, Miss Flomo said, is not a one-off event but a project that will reach lots of poor and not easily accessible rural areas.
“We’re not finished here; we will continue this until we reach our target goals and every area we see fit to distribute masks,” the 2021 Miss Earth Liberia said. “We want them to be healthy and safe as best we can and practice all the protocols that are in place for everyone.”
In brief remarks, residents of the beneficiary communities said getting hold of face masks and detergents has been challenging during the pandemic since the prices of said items tripled.
The town chiefs of Gbema Town and Lofa Bridge in Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties, respectively, said the gesture of goodwill in their time of need would certainly go a long way in this pandemic.
Both chiefs added that the donation will go to the towns' most vulnerable population, which will provide much-needed protection during the pandemic.
“We want to thank Miss Earth and her partners for ensuring this can happen and allowing the people to benefit because the risk of exposure is a great one and masking is a layer of protection that is needed,” the beneficiaries said.
Meanwhile, Miss Earth Liberia 2021 first runner-up, Kumba Abu, who volunteered on the project, said they wanted to donate to a group that might not be at the forefront of people's minds.
“Hard-to-reach communities are out of sight for the general public, so often they get swept under the rug,” she added. “So we thought it wise to reach out to them.”
The Mask-Up campaign encourages people to wear cloth face coverings in public because it’s an evidence-based public health measure. Masks reduce viral transmission, especially among people who might not be showing symptoms, but could be carrying the virus.