About fifty leaders of the slum community of West Point yesterday assembled at the grounds of the Foreign Ministry begging for government’s help in getting them a suitable place to stay.
The group, under the banner, Disaster Victims Association-Liberia, visited the Foreign Ministry, which also hosts President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her staff, with placards calling for government’s intervention.
Some of their placards had inscriptions such as “Madam President remember your November 19, 2015 message to us on our relocation”; “No one cares for us,”; “Remember Madam President your people are dying from sea erosion”; and, “We don’t want to sleep with our brothers.”
The Disaster Victims Association’s Rapid Response Agent, Mrs. Cecelia T. Nimeley, said the people of West Point are seriously suffering.
‘’Our houses are undermined by sea erosion and this leads to the loss of our homes and properties all the time. The sea is wiping West Point away and if urgent attention is not given by the government to relocate the residents of the township it will be a more challenging disaster.”
According to Mrs. Nimeley the leadership of West point has engaged government on the crisis many times but no response to change the situation for good for them has ever come from the government. She said they have written many letters to the WHO, UNDP, WFP, among other international donors, and the National Legislature for help, but none has yet responded to their communications.
The Rapid Response Agent explained that nowadays 15 or more people sleep in one room. “Some sleep in school buildings, churches and marketplaces. Our children are not going to school and we lack our basic human needs due to the prevailing conditions,” she said.
For his part, Mr. Dee Moore, who is the chairman of the Disaster Victims Association- Liberia, said that their struggle to have access to a “good living place” will not end until it is realized.
The chairman, who said he is the head of the 4,000 plus member Disaster Victims Association, explained that since 2014 his leadership has constantly reminded government of its promise to relocate the people of West Point to the Monrovia-Bomi highway.
Interestingly yesterday, Mr. More and few of his co-workers were invited to the office of the President for consultations.
Mr. Moore meanwhile did not disclose the outcome of his meeting with President Sirleaf today on grounds that an official press conference will be convened at his office as soon as possible.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian President urged the West Point Erosion victims to work closely with the Monrovia City Corporation , led by Mayor Clara Doe Mvogo, as well as the Commissioner of West Point, Sampson Nyan, to fast-track the various processes being initiated to ensure their relocation.
She assured the delegation that some actions will be taken to assist the most vulnerable while the long-term process of relocating all the affected residents is pursued.
Mayor Mvogo and West Point Commissioner Nyan briefed President Sirleaf and the 3-member delegation about the relocation process and assured them that the situation will be remedied subsequently. They called on the affected residents to work with them to bring relief to their people. The West Point delegation included Reverend Demoe W. Moore, David S. Grant and Ma Lucy Barbior.