Over 2000 Montserrado District # 4 Residents Made Homeless by Flood

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Rep. Dennis (L) marches with some of the victims

-As Rep. Rustolyn Dennis provides relief items, appeals for more assistance

Montserrado County Electoral District #4 Representative Rustolyn Suacoco Dennis yesterday went out not only to say words of sympathy to flood affected residents, but to assist them with some relief items. Dennis also appealed to humanitarian organizations for help to the flood affected residents.

Over 2000 residents in the Garza, Olympic, Sorto, Nuflehn and Lofa neighborhoods of Soul Clinic and Omega Communities are currently sheltered at school and church buildings as well as with friends and relatives.

Reminiscent of the war days in Liberia, many left their homes in an effort to save their lives or that of a child or a neighbor, and without any extra clothing, bedding, food or utensils with which to prepare their meals.

Accompanied by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) led by police spokesperson Moses Carter, Rep. Dennis gave away L$100,000, 40 bags of 25kg rice and 40 4-inch mattresses to the affected residents. She assured them of her commitment to lobby for more support in order to alleviate their ordeal.

“I am deeply touched by the difficult situation with which my people are faced now. It is a natural disaster, but in some ways, we can be of help in the process, not only by bringing in food and other items, but by making a clarion call to government to see reason and do something to mitigate the situation,” Dennis told journalists as she toured the affected neighborhoods.

She said earlier she paid a visit to the office of National Disaster Management (NDM) and reported the plight of her people with a strong conviction that the NDM as well as the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW), tasked with overseeing zoning and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that gives advice on imminent environmental risks, will come in with help of all kinds, to save the communities from further natural disaster.

One of the residences severely affected by the flood in Nuflehn Town, Omega community

About the police’s presence during the tour, LNP Spokesperson Moses Carter said their job is to save lives and properties. As such, environmental or natural disasters are possible threats to the lives and properties of people who are always affected by them.

“We have informed all of our zone commanders, particularly those in areas where there is always flood during rainy season, to identify with those affected by helping them escape whatever danger that may lie ahead. They were here yesterday (Tuesday) and we have come today too to continue ensuring that our people are safe,” Carter said.

He said unlike the past in Liberia when police were seen as a force only interested in going after perpetrators of crimes, “value has been added to the police by rendering service to communities.”

The exercise, which Rep. Suacoco spearheaded on Tuesday and Wednesday this week was, according to the affected residents is the first of its kind from a sitting lawmaker since people of the district began experiencing disaster from flood over the years.

William Wonzo, chairman of Garza neighborhood, said he and his fellow affected residents are grateful to Rep. Dennis for her timely intervention and hope that other humanitarians, including NGOs, will come in with more assistance.

“We are thankful to her and we also look forward to central government, particularly the office of President George Manneh Weah as well as the offices of the vice President, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor, and Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers, to come and help us,” Wonzo said.

Benkeo Tarty, one of the residents of Nuflehn Town whose house completely broke down due to the flood, said while it is true that the rain fell in torrents, there was an overflow from a river known as Bo which is not far from where they have built their homes.

“We saw water just coming towards our houses with force. When we came outside to check what was the problem, we realized that it was not only because rain had fallen here but that the river too is full and now overflowing on the land,” Tarty said.

Eleven houses in which people were living were discovered broken down as a result of the flood.

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1 COMMENT

  1. First and foremost, I profoundly empathize and sympathize with the flood victims of the affected areas of Monrovia. Secondly, I applaud Rep. Suacoco Dennis for showing genuine concern for the flood victims. Dennis does not seem to be playing politics. It’s all good and dandy!

    President Weah’s pro-poor policy must succeed. It is hoped that the men and women who are charged with the responsibility of carrying out his directives will work hard to make pro-poor a reality. The truth of the matter is this; if pro-poor succeeds, Liberia succeeds. Simple as that! However, I have a feeling that the Ministry of Public Works did not do enough, if anything at all, to help the flood victims of the affected areas of Monrovia. At least, something should have been done by the Ministry of Public Works. By staying on the sidelines as the Ministry of Public Works has done, shows ineffectiveness on the part of the Ministry. But more importantly, for doing absolutely nothing, the Ministry of Public Works has shown disregard for the success of Weah’s pro-poor policy agenda.

    Pro-poor is meant to do many things. One of the things that Weah’s policy agenda of pro-poor stands for is to do “untraditional things” for the good of the country.

    What is an example of an untraditional thing?
    Well, let’s take a look. Parking tickets!
    Whenever a motorist drives his or her car in downtown Monrovia, she or he will be ticketed when the car is parked. Never mind that there are no displayed signs that say “No Parking Allowed”. The ticket agent stands there and demands the parking fee. Eventhough there is no sign that says, “No Parking”.

    The policy of “pro-poor” recognizes the need for violators to pay parking tickets. But in order for ticket fees to be collected from violators, Pro-Poor says that “we’ll erect parking signs all over the downtown area. In the morning from 8:30 to 10 am, there will be “no parking on Center or Benson Streets”. But, after the rush hours, parking will be allowed”.

    A typical example like the one above is untraditional. Caring for the least amongst us genuinely is untraditional. Pro-poor means doing the “good things” for the most unfortunate, the most vulnerable, the most forgotten, etc. If the Ministry of Public Works had done something in the most flooded areas of Monrovia, it would have been construed as a break from tradition. The Ministry did nothing. Zilch!

    It snows in the state of Illinois. Illinois is a midwestern state. In my adopted city of Chicago (although I don’t live there anymore) the snow removal crew do battle with snow irrespective of what happens. When it snows in Chicago, the snow removal crew do not say, “oh let nature take care of itself”.
    Pro-poor works when the Ministry of Public Works does untraditional things.

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