As part of efforts to bringing lasting peace to Liberia, the United States’ States Department-funded Tetra Tech DPK Mitigating Land Dispute Program, has donated over 40 motorbikes and some assorted officers materials as logistical support to the Government of Liberia. The items are valued at over half a million United States dollars.
According to the Chief of Team of Tetra Tech DPK, Dr. Alfred Fofie, the donated items will enable law enforcement officers working in Nimba to effectively do their jobs.
Dr. Fofie added that for law enforcement officers to effectively do their works they needed to be empowered so as to respond to security threat quickly, that was the reason they provided the items mainly to law enforcement officers of Liberian National Police (LNP), Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), National Security Agency (NSA) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The items donated on 19th May 2014 included, motorbikes, computers, printers, photocopiers, solar panels, investigative kits ( for forensic investigation), plastic chairs, typewriters and among others.
The total of 10 crime scene investigative kits (for forensic investigation) were donated; two to the LNP Central Office in Monrovia, two to the Police Academy, two to the Regional Hub in Gbarnga and balance four will be divided among the two parlor counties, Lofa and Nimba.
Since 2012, the Tetra Tech DPK has been implementing a program called Mitigating Land Dispute in Liberia/MLDL with its parlor phases presently focusing on Nimba and Lofa Counties.
In the MLDL program, Tetra Tech organized the county Security Council, the district security council and the community forum in both Nimba and Lofa counties.
The county security council, which is the highest body in the county, is headed by the superintendent and co-chair by the LNP county commander, the district security council is also headed by a district commissioner, which the community forum is headed by the a civilian and comprises of members of the community.
The community forum, which is the civilian body upon hearing any threat or dispute, will intervene and discuss it among themselves. If it cannot be settled, it will pass it over to the district security council most of its members are security and if it cannot still be settled at that level, it is then reported to the county security council. If this level can’t resolve the matter, it is passed over to the national thereby making at a national crises, needling a national response.
Using the concept of community –oriented policing, MLDL continued to work to improve the relationship between police institution and the local population, and to steadily build security forces’ confidence in these counties.
“MLDL supported local police efforts by strengthening investigative capacities and helping officers integrate into the local environment through community policing,” said Thomas Suah, Components 1&2 leader.
Since the establishment of these bodies, many conflicts/disputes have been settled in Nimba County, including the long-standing land dispute between the Yeaten and the Nutuah families of Mahnplay, the historic land between the citizens of Yehbo and Mongbien.
The easing of the crisis between citizens of Teahplay and two communities in Nimkwea over the killing of their son by a citizen from Teahplay in November last year as well as the UNICEF student crisis in Ganta in September 2012 were among some of the conflicts settled.
Some of the distributed items including the solar panels, computer, other office materials, and also motorbikes will also be given to the community forums as part of the support to strengthen their activities.
Nimba Supt. Fong Zuagele praised Tetra Tech DPK MLDL program and the US Department of States for their supports.
“We are also grateful to the implementing partners of the US State Department the Tetra Tech DPK for the job well done,” he said.
“You have facilitated the meetings of the Security Council that I chair, the District Security Council and the list go on and on,” he added.
Meanwhile, 25 motorcycles would be left in Nimba while 15 will be delivered to Lofa along with other items.