Ganta Residents Perplexed by State of Emergency

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The view of Ganta after President Weah declared the State of Emergency

Although preempted earlier by some farsighted people that there would be a lockdown and a state of emergency as it is happening in other parts of the world due to the Coronavirus, a lot of people in Nimba, mainly the commercial city of Ganta, least expected the declaration of a state of emergency on Wednesday afternoon of Apirl 8, 2020.

Movements have turned very slow with a low number of people plying the busy streets of Ganta as store owners reluctantly open business centers with little or no hope of receiving customers.  However, a few people who are financially capacitated are seen entering stores and purchasing bags of rice and other ingredient with the thought that prices of these basic commodities may soon increase.

On the other hand, after the declaration of a state of emergency, less fortunate residents fear and worry over how they are going to provide the basic needs of their families.

A couple of citizens who spoke to this reporter said the state of emergency and the lockdown will seriously hamper and deprive them from carrying on their daily hustle to support their families.  Under a state of emergency due to a threat to human wellbeing, the government disallows certain rights of citizens including movement and speech to be exercised.

Comfort Gbor, a petty business owner in Ganta said: “We cannot ignore the President’s orders, but it will hamper our daily activities we depend on to sustain ourselves. I am in a weekly susu, what happens to those who have not taken their shares and how are we going to generate money to pay back others,” she wondered.

“Locking down the country is bad; we don’t have the resources to purchase enough food for the stay home order,” said Fanta, a bartender.

Ganta is one of the busiest business centers in Liberia outside of the state capital, Monrovia, and is situated along the country’s border with Guinea, a hotspot for cross-border trade.  But as the state of emergency was declared on Wednesday, a lot of people began leaving Ganta for remote villages in Nimba and beyond.

“This State of Emergency will certainly hamper our business and leave us into debt with our suppliers, because people have just begun leaving the city for safety elsewhere,” said Kou Wleyou, proprietor of City Promoter Business Center. “Some of us have the means of feeding ourselves, but what happens to the disabled or the blind, who are begging around daily?” she wondered.

She then appealed to the government to be moderate in dealing with the situation so that people will be allowed to carry out their daily chores as it has usually been.

The skepticism many have is that while the government may have the right to declare a state of emergency, not much is put in place to sustain the citizens in this lockdown period.

Many on the day of the declaration appeared very sad, especially petty traders who roam the streets with their goods to sell.

Nevertheless, there are still others who are appreciative of the decision by the government to declare a state of emergency.

“The decision will help to prevent and contain the spread of the virus,” said Paul Zorpeawon, an owner and operator of His Grace Business Center.

There is a reported death case of COVID-19 from Tappita in lower Nimba County.

There are growing numbers of cases of COVID-19 in the two countries that have borders with Nimba.
According to WHO April 8, 2020 statistic, Guinea has about 144 confirmed cases with no death, while Ivory Coast has 349 cases with 3 deaths reported.

2 COMMENTS

  1. It appears as though the Government of Liberia is looking everywhere to increase the so-called deaths caused by a coronavirus, as such, every death in Liberia now is attributed to coronavirus. The unfortunate death of Mr. Don Patrick cannot possibly be attributed to the coronavirus, especially given circumstances surrounding his death. Coronavirus does not kill any human within several hours of complaining of illness. The Liberian Government is completely incapable of determining the causes of deaths of Liberians in normal times and now, she is using coronavirus as the new conduit to increase causes of deaths for obvious reasons.

    Early last week, the families of Mr. John Teah disputed and dismissed the Government of Liberia’s claimed that their father’s death was due to coronavirus. The families demanded that the Government of Liberia provide proof that their father died as a result of coronavirus. Up to date, the Government has provided no proof. The Government does not even have pathologists to determine causes of deaths and so, how can it attribute all deaths in Liberia under these tense circumstances to coronavirus? Where are the test results to determine the causes of deaths?

  2. Two Important Points
    From My Perspective.

    (1). It seems to me that some of my fellow countrymen and women, do not understand why a “stay home order” has been imposed. I really think that the NPHIL should do more to inform the Liberian people throughout the country. TV announcements are good, radio broadcasts are good and billboard advertisements are also good. The main focus is to contain the spread of Covid-19. Lives will be saved if the Liberian people are fully informed.

    It’s okay for local markets to be open. It’s okay for stores to be open. But, before “the Liberian people” go out to shop, they must be told to protect themselves by covering their mouths with a clean handkerchief, a clean headtie or a clean cloth. I am assuming we don’t have too many latex gloves or masks. Besides, if we have gloves and masks, some people may not be able to buy them. Finally, it’s the responsibility of the NPHIL to inform “our people” that when they go to the market or to a store to buy their consumables, they should keep a distance from one another. The government should do more!

    And,

    (2). Once again, I hope a good lesson will be learned after the Covid-19 storm passes over us in Liberia. Example, when the deadly Ebola struck with maximum devastation in Liberia, president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf did not do more to award medical scholarships to eligible Liberians to study abroad. Neither was any attempt made to hire qualified foreign doctors to train Liberian medical students at the university of Liberia. There should not be a reason on earth why illnesses or death records to be misdiagnosed in Nimba and elsewhere in the country.

    Tony Leewaye could be right. Personally, I have no evidence to agree or disagree with him. But I know factually that Weah has a bundle of political enemies, some of whom are chronic liars. There could be a little bit of politics involved here. But if the families of the late Don Patrick and John Tear are eager to say that Covid-19 didn’t kill their loved ones, the government has the burden of proof. This particular issue should be taken care of now. It has an explosive potential!

    Lastly, most readers who are familiar with me know mighty well that my battle is directly aimed at the lawmakers of Liberia. Not at Weah, not at the citizens of Liberia. God knows that I don’t hate them as human beings! What they do stinks, for lack of a better word!

    Argument: While the lawmakers scoff, puff, sit in air-conditioned offices and receive $15-16,000 every month, a majority of the Liberian people are without masks or gloves or enough food. Will it be possible for the lawmakers to look down and see how the proletarians suffer?

    Matthew chapter 25: verses 31 to 46.

    Peace

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