‘I’m Delighted’

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has expressed delight in the operations of a group of Liberians working on the Costal Defence Project in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

The Costal Defence Project is a government initiative driven by three government ministries, including the Ministry of Lands, Mines & Energy with support from UNDP.

The intent is to protect coastal areas from ongoing sea erosion that is gradually eating up territorial land-space in Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount and Montserrado counties.

Speaking during a tour of the project over the weekend, President Johnson Sirleaf lauded the efforts of the workers including technical staffs from the Ministry of Lands, Mines & Energy for their commitment and selfless-delegation to ensuring that Buchanan is protected from sea-erosion.

“I consider this project successful and I’m very pleased with the amount of work that is being done here,” she said.

“Despite the many challenges,” the Liberian leader furthered, “Liberians are able to stand up for their welfare and lead a process that ensures that such an important site is protected from natural disaster.”

The Liberian Chief Executive stressed the need for other coastal cities and towns to receive similar attention, maintaining that such can only be done when more and more Liberians take ownership of these projects across the country.

She extolled Grand Bassa County's local government for the collaboration but was quick to point out that local government must have some financial input for the speedy completion of the project.

Also speaking to the media, Lands, Mines & Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo put the cost of the project at US$3 million for the entire 600 meters government is opting to reclaim. He indicated that US$1.2 million is being used for the first phase that covers 200 meters.

Minister Sendolo asserted that government’s first priority at the moment is to protect Atlantic Street and Fanti Town, areas that are almost swallowed up by the ocean.

“What is important here is the willingness of Liberians to participate; the number of Liberians that are part of the process is encouraging. The intent of this now is not to reclaim the lost land, but prevent a future occurrence so that our nice beaches and tourist sites are preserved,” Minister Sendolo added.

Accordingly, the first phase of the project will end in February 2014, with an opportunity to embark on a similar venture to save Hotel Africa, a beautiful resort and tourist destination that is being overrun by sea-erosion in Monrovia.

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