The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Liberia have concluded the first phase of a 100-meter costal defense project in New Kru Town, near Monrovia.
The low cost and low technology innovation was implemented by the Center for Environment and Development in Africa (CEDA), a local non-governmental organization in Liberia, with funding of US$50,000 dollars from the Global Environment Fund (GEF) Small Grants Program, utilizing gabion groins and revetment that villagers as well as community people can learn, accept and use with little or no side support.
According to the General Manager of CEDA, Samuel Wesley, the project also builds the capacity of over 10 local community members through training, to help mobilize materials and man power.
The brief program marking the end of the first phase of the project was held at the demonstration site in Popo Beach, Borough of New Kru Town, under the theme: “Combating Coastal Erosion in Local Coastal Liberia”.
UNDP Small Grants Program Manager, Samuel Boakai told the community to take ownership of the project by ensuring that the project is sustained and protected.
“If this project succeeds, New Kru Town gets saved and when New Kru Town is saved, you are the first beneficiaries, so you must see this as yours and own it,” Boakai said.
Boakai said the project is one of UNDP’s flagship programs and its protection should be paramount to the community.
At the program, residents expressed appreciation to UNDP for the project that is helping to prevent their homes from falling prey to high and rough waves of sea erosion in the area.
“For too long the residents and citizens of the Borough of New Kru Town have been thinking about how the issue of the sea erosion that is wiping away the town would be attended to…The erosion has affected so many people,” Vice Governor of the Borough of New Kru Town, S. Tugbe Worjloh said.
Worjloh praised UNDP for going to the rescue of the Borough that was being entirely wiped out by the sea.
He said while the completion of the first 100 meters is laudable, UNDP should strongly consider the extension of the project in order to save other homes and properties, including the D. Tweh High School which serves as the only government high school in the Borough.
Bishop P. Manasseh Conto, a resident of the community and pastor of the Mission for Today Holy Church Incorporated extended appreciation to UNDP and partners for undertaking the coastal erosion project, especially in New Kru Town.
Bishop Conto said the project is evidently helping to save the Borough from the sea.