Liberian journalist, Jonathan Paye-Layleh, has completed the distribution of over 160 large anti-COVID-19 hand-washing buckets and detergents to all towns in Nimba County’s administrative districts of Meinpea-Mahn, Leewehpea-Mahn and Wee-Gbehyi as his personal contribution to the county’s fight against the deadly virus. Hospitals and radio stations in the cities of Ganta and Sanniquellie also benefited from the gesture, valued at around US$1,800.
According to a dispatch from a small team coordinating the process, the distribution was carefully done through the administrative structures of the districts — whereby only a few district officials were invited to their respective headquarters to receive the items for onward distribution to the more than one hundred towns.
The journalist, a son of Meinpea-Mahn District, also provided L$60,000 to the three districts to facilitate the distribution.
Meinpea-Mahn and Leewehpea-Mahn Districts and a small portion of Wee-Gbehyi District constitute Electoral District Number 8 in Nimba County.
“The message I have brought to you all is clear and simple; if stronger and bigger countries to which we should turn for help when diseases break out and overwhelm us are themselves finding it hard to contain the spread the Coronavirus, all that we in small and weak countries should do is to follow the health protocols,” Mr. Paye-Layleh, also a correspondent of foreign media in Liberia, told chiefs as he handed over the consignments.
In a pensive mood, he added: “If you see me traveling all the way from Monrovia with these items to you, it means the situation is serious and nothing to joke with.”
He urged the citizens to see his donation of buckets and soap as an indication that fighting to defeat and get rid of the virus from Liberia is a national call to duty.
“So what this means is even if a household cannot afford to buy a bucket because obviously times are hard, you can simply put clean soap-water in a bottle and hang it before your home for regular hand-washing,” he told the chiefs who nodded in approval.
After assessing the road conditions in some of the towns he had to travel through to reach his people, Mr. Paye-Layleh promised to donate a brand new chainsaw in the coming months to the people of Menpea-Mahn District to help mobilize local materials to repair the many log bridges linking some of the major towns.
The chainsaw, he assured, will be delivered once the national government has relaxed the current restrictions and people are now allowed to move around and work again.
The first two roads on which bridges are to be repaired in the district from the donation are the ones linking the historic town of Kpein with Gbehyi-Duayee and Constance’s Rubber Farm to Duo.
Ahead of delivering the chainsaw, Mr. Paye-Layleh has made a contribution of L$10,000 to an ongoing road-fixing effort in Meinboyee Township, an enclave of originally Kpelleh-speaking people which forms part of Meinpea-Mahn District along the St. John River dividing Bong and Nimba counties.
Mr. Paye-Layleh said he was touched when he saw footages of people in the township using their bare hands to build an access road.
The journalist promised to visit this nearly-isolated part of the district to acquaint himself with self-help development efforts there.
“Until the central government gets ready to do a more comprehensive intervention to reconstruct these roads, we have to do what is possible and within our capacity as sons and daughters from the area to help,” he declared.
While making donations in the administrative headquarters of Bunadin and Flumpa, the journalist, who achieved his elementary education in both towns, pledged to organize the associations of alumni and former students of the Bunadin Public School in Lao Chiefdom and Flumpa Mission School in Gbannah Chiefdom.
“The idea is to get young people in these areas to exercise their vast potentials and be of greater service to the communities,” he told the citizens.
The district commissioners and chief appreciated the gesture and regretted that due to the current outbreak of COVID-19 and the strict restrictions associated with it, they could not mobilize citizens to turn out to meet and thank their son. Also sending his appreciation was the Representative of District 8, Honorable Larry Younquoi who is currently out of the country but sent a proxy, Mr. Spencer Glay, to witness the presentations.