— Call on the private sector and others to join the fight
In an effort to help the national government to fight against the COVID-19, several prominent residents of Grand Cape Mount County on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, officially launched their Response and Preparedness Committee.
The launch, which was held at the residence of its committee Chairperson, Madam Kula B.N. Fofana, is aimed at calling on well-meaning residents of the county to join them in the fight of the global pandemic that is claiming many lives around the world.
It was also graced by Superintendent Aaron Vincent, Co-Chair of the committee; Dr. Netty Joe (County Health Officer), serving as Medical Officer; James Kiawion – Secretary; Millias Z. Sheriff – Financial Secretary and Varney Sheriff (Fiscal Superintendent) Treasurer.
Madam Fofana, who spoke to journalists at a press conference in Monrovia, said the committee will also focus on what the county has done in terms of preparing a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic and also talk about the plans authorities have developed for the county.
According to her, since Liberia reported its first case, the county has thought it wise to work collectively in bringing the private, government, and NGOs sector together to be able to fight the virus should there be any case.
“If you all may recall in 2014 the county was one of the highly hate counties during the Ebola pandemic, and to avoid the reoccurrence of what happened in the past to the county, the people of the county came together including the county superintendent, to develop a plan in term of getting every citizen to involve in creating awareness about the virus,” Madam Fofana said.
She, however, acknowledged the efforts made thus far by some prominent individuals from the county who started creating the awareness.
This process, Madam Fofana said, has been endorsed by the Grand Cape Mount County Legislative Caucus headed by Senator Varney G. Sharman and all members of the caucus are fully in support of the endeavours.
She added: “This happened through a resolution that was signed endorsing this committee and they have also gone ahead to support the initiative.”
She said the caucus initially supported this process with the establishment of the Grand Cape Mount County COVID-19 Response Fund and a donation of US$5,000 as the contribution by the caucus and individual members who made separate contributions.
“So we call you here today to inform the general public that as citizens we need to work together to fight the virus. We have identified a centre in the county and we are in the process of preparing it as an observation centre (POC), while it is the truth that the county has not reported any case of the virus.”
Madam Fofana said it is important for “us to work with the government of Liberia because the government cannot do it all. We want to call on the private sector and other Liberians to join us in the fight.” She said plans are also underway by the team to do food distribution in the county.
She, however, used the occasion to thank the media, especially the two radio stations in the county, Radio Cape Mount and Radio Piso for the role played so far when it comes to information dissemination on COVID-19.
Millias Z. Sheriff, who also spoke at the press conference, said the first target of the team is ensuring that the two radio stations get back on the air.
“As we speak they are out of the generator and we have budgeted about US$3,000,” Minister Sheriff added.
This, he said, will ensure that the stations get the little support that they will use to adequately inform “our people about the COVID-19 and its presentations.”
The Grand Cape Mount County COVID-19 financial secretary-general, who is also the Assistant Youth and Sports Minister for TVET, further said that they are going to ensure the setting up a call centre that will serve as an observation point in case of any eventuality.
Meanwhile, Varney A. Sheriff, Fiscal Superintendent, and the Treasure of the team has disclosed that in continuation of contributions by prominent citizens of the county, Senator Varney Sharman made an additional contribution of U$10,000 plus L$500,000 to the team.
He also named Mr. Dukuly who made an additional donation of L$40,000 among other citizens who are still making contributions.
These funds, according to Mr. Sheriff, will be used to create the necessary awareness which will be translated into various vernaculars in the county.
The team is, however, calling on all Cape Mountaineers to support them in any way as well as in kind.