Education, women’s empowerment, health high on agenda
By Hannah N. Geterminah
Montserrado County District #3 candidate for representative has listed education, health and women and youth empowerment as his major priorities if he is elected on October 10.
Josiah Flomo Joekai, Jr., said though he will not use his salary to produce the essential needs of the people of the district, he will use his lobbying power to get his priorities accomplished.
He said many children are out of school because they lack support; and as a result, illiteracy and the crime rate are very high among the youth, which he did not qualify with statistics.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer recently, the District #3 candidate said helping parents to educate their children and also improve their lives will decrease the crime rate.
Joekai said that for 12 years Liberians have suffered from “messy education, poor health care delivery system, and poor sanitation, which have contributed to the increase in the rate of school dropouts in the country.”
He named lack of support and inadequate high school projects for the youth to develop their minds as some of the factors that are also responsible for the increase in the number of high school dropouts.
Joekai said he will lobby for the improvement and upgrading of the only public clinic in the district into a full hospital, “because almost all of the well-meaning clinics are privately run and are too costly for the average resident of the district.”
He said the lack of effective health care delivery remains a major challenge in the country, stressing that most of the healthcare services are operated by private institutions, making them costly to access, which leads to the deaths of many citizens.
Joekai noted that most government clinics in the district need to be upgraded to full hospitals that will not only save lives but also provide jobs for residents of the district.
He indicated that development will have to be people-centered, “because the people will have to make decisions about how they want to develop their community.”
The District #3 candidate said there is a need to empower women, “which can only be achieved through a systematic implementation of policies with them in mind.”
Joekai stressed that gender issues involve the ability for both men and women to play positive roles in society. He spoke against those who look down on women, citing traditional practices.
The representative aspirant encouraged Liberian women to rise up and compete with their male counterparts for executive positions in political parties.