The once selected site for the construction of a government perceived US$60 million ministerial complex has now been turned into a treatment center for Ebola patients, Information Minister Lewis Brown has confirmed.
Minister Brown, who made the disclosure few days ago, indicated that the site for the ministerial complex and three other locations are being cleared for the construction of additional treatment centers across the country.
According to him, the exercise is to create additional spaces and to further decongest the overcrowded ELWA, JFK and Redemption Ebola treatment centers as caseloads from the outbreak have worsened in recent week, with Montserrado and Lofa being the worst hit.
Up to press time late yesterday, the area around the Congo Town ministerial site near the ‘Peace Island’ Community was being bulldozed for the purpose of constructing one of the centers.
But residents of the ‘Peace Island’ or the “540” community have expressed fear for their lives should the treatment center be constructed near their area.
Pastor Moses Womleh of the Beersheda Ministry said he wants members of his congregation and other residents to form part of the sensitization, while the construction goes on.
“Due to the severity of the deadly Ebola virus disease, we as a church want to join government in the fight against the disease since our people are dying in their numbers,” Pastor Womleh told the government.
Peter Kogar is one of the ‘prominent’ residents of the ‘Peace Island.’ He told the Daily Observer that government was not applying the right mechanisms for the fight against the EVD.
According to him, these misapplications by the government are some of the reasons for the upsurge in the spread of the disease.
As such, Mr. Korgar wants government to relocate the treatment center from the “540” vicinity to another area on the outskirts of Monrovia.
Quoting a year-old census report of the ‘Peace Island’ community, Mr. Korgar recalls the total of 260,000 houses with over 38,000 residents. With that number of residents, he, too, expressed fear for the future survival of the residents since Ebola to date has no cure.
US$60 million Ministerial Complex Project
In the presence of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, along with a few top officials of her government on Tuesday, September 11, 2012, the government signed an agreement with the People's Republic of China for the construction of a ministerial complex.
The agreement was for the construction of the US$60m complex, which would have by now been hosting at least ten ministries and agencies should. The then Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Zhao Jianhua, said the signing was the result of a request by President Sirleaf to his (Chinese) government and would be a lasting symbol of the friendship between Liberia and China.
The ministerial complex, the second largest construction which would have been undertaken by the Chinese in Africa, was to be the next in size to the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“It would have also closed the chapter on the inconvenience suffered by the government as a tenant, as well as open a new chapter on the respectability and cost-saving of being a landlord,” Foreign Minister, Augustine K. Ngafuan declared during the impressive September 11, 2012 signing ceremony in Monrovia.
After searching for suitable site for the construction of the complex, the government finally selected the “540” courtyard and subsequently fenced the entire facility.
Due to unexplained delay to implement the project, the government now selected that same “540” spot for the construction of an Ebola treatment center amidst residents’ outcry.