Essiana Weah, a daughter of Maryland County, has been crowned the winner of Miss Earth Liberia, an environmental pageant that focused on molding the minds of its contestants to promote climate change and conservation issues.
Weah beat 10 other women, including first and second runners-up, Promise Toe and Leona Duweh, respectively. As usual, the contestants, in their separate presentations on June 19, pledged to tackle the issue of climate change in the country, which poses a significant threat through advocacy and awareness creation.
They added that regardless of whoever wins the crown, the participation in the pageant has given them the opportunity to learn from the Environmental Protection Agency what to do to make Liberia become climate-resilient since climate change and the loss of environment are intergenerational challenges that demand everyone's feet on the ground, according to the statement.
In her final statement during the pageant, Weah spoke about the need for strong actions among Liberians regarding climate change issues as Liberia remains highly vulnerable to adverse effects of climate change because of extreme poverty and high dependence on ‘climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, and mining.
“We live in a challenging time. As the world advances, so do climate and environmental issues,” Weah shared her vision about the future with the judges during the question and answer session. “We advance as a society, we've also advanced with actions that continue to harm our planet, creating a dangerous future for the future generations. For me, winning is to make a difference, particularly on issues relating to climate change, conservation, and adaptation.
And in a news release issued on her behalf by La Queen Entertainment, the pageant organizer, Weah noted: “I am so honored to have been selected among 10 other amazing women. It is a dream come true to wear the Miss Earth Liberia crown, and I hope to use this opportunity to push for concrete nationwide action against climate change.
“I will invest time and resources to make people understand climate change issues, and help create viable solutions, to restore the glory of our planet,” Weah added. “I pledge to leave no one behind in seeking solutions to combat climate change.”
All the way from Maryland County, Miss Weah started her Miss Earth Liberia Journey after she sold most of her belongings not just to relocate to Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city, but to raise funds for the competition.
The new Miss Earth Liberia Queen comes from a poor background and had to work as twice as hard as others contesting to win the competition — walking away with a brand new sedan and many other prizes including endorsement deals.
“Essiana Weah's story tells us that with trust of any person in God, the person can get the commitment, competence, and determination to rise up as high as God would want the person to rise,” said Wokie Dolo, who is a 2017 Miss Liberia winner and founder of La Queen Entertainment. “Weah is Liberian from a poor background materially but has a rich background spiritually and the confidence to enter the world of the people who are widely considered to be rich materially.”
The Miss Earth Liberia is an annual environmentally-minded beauty pageant that selects the Liberia representative for Miss Earth, one of the biggest international pageants in the world. It is sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency.