As the fear of Ebola rages in Liberia, the fear of water poisoning is also said to be intensifying, and it is likely to overshadow the threat of Ebola in Ganta after the alleged poisoning of a well-protected well in the LPMC Community on the 5th August 2014 engulfed the city.
Residents of Ganta were outraged after a well was allegedly poisoned by some men during the early hours of Tuesday, 5th August 2014 in the compound of Immigration officer, Maj. Alfred Yormie.
Angeline Yormie, wife of Alfred Yormie, told this newspaper that when they awoke early Tuesday Morning, they saw that their wells, which were sealed with iron plates, had been burst open with what appeared to be a chemical smelling in the compound.
She quoted her daughter, who was sleeping in the next house close to the well, as saying that when these men entered the compound, they broke the lock and began spraying in the well and all over the compound.
“We were so terrified when we awoke and saw the well opened and chemicals smelling all around here,” Mrs. Yormie told our reporter.
Hundreds of citizens from across Ganta were seen visiting the compound to ascertain the fact for themselves.
Yeesah Kartoe, a resident of the LMPC community, said, “We don’t know where we are going now in this country. We are struggling with the fear of Ebola and again this criminal act is threatening our lives; then where shall we go?
“We all drink from this well. What would have happened if these men had not been seen? Then we all would have been dead by now with the presumption that it is Ebola,” she added.
She said, a certain Taxi with no plate number was spotted around the compound at about 2 a.m. with two persons getting down to carry out the act. But the Josephine Wontoe, a witness earlier quoted by Mrs. Yormie, said she identified four persons and talked about hearing the sound of a car after the men left the compound.
There was no report of anyone being victimized from the poisoning within the compound, but it has created great fear among the already Ebola-frightened citizens.
On 4th August 2014, there was a report of an attempt by some unknown person(s) trying to poison some wells in the Bo Community in Ganta, but they were chased out of the community by the watch team.
With the fear of this kind of attack on the citizens, the City Mayor of Ganta, Dorr Cooper, is calling on the citizens and community leaders to remain watchful in their communities so as to prevent such wicked acts.
“The City Council is reactivating the community watch forum to keep watch in the community; and at the same time we are calling the perpetrators to stop such an acts and make themselves available for justice,” he said.
Ganta is one of booming cities with citizens from diverse backgrounds. But the issue concerning the poisoning of water is not being taken lightly.
As the news continues to rage on, citizens are grouping themselves together to protect their communities from any acts that pose threats to their security.
“We are organizing our community to be vigilant against any act from now on,” said John Banyea of Catholic Community.
The water is yet to be tested for whether or not it was really tampered with. Our reporter was informed that samples of the water had been taken by someone from the Ganta Hospital to be tested, but the hospital denied sending anyone, saying, “We don’t have any water testing facility here.”
It is yet to establish who took the water sample as police launch an investigation into the incident.
Meanwhile, the government of Liberia continues to deny reports of well poisoning in the country, even as reports such as this one continue to corroborate the alleged confession of a Schieffelin suspect who reportedly confessed that more than 250 men had been trained to poison wells around the country.