The story recalled that the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, Dr. E.B. McClain, had recently, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, written a letter to Monrovia beach workers pledging that they would, within a week, receive their four months’ wages arrears.
Our Beach Correspondent Omari Jackson says the workers are in the third week of that promise, and no pay is yet forthcoming.
We see two embarrassing issues here: first, the President’s word; and second, protecting the capital’s beaches from defecation and filth, from which they have suffered for a very long time, even in what Liberians love to call “normal days.”
But first the President’s word, which is synonymous with her name. We fail to understand why the Executive Mansion would allow the President to renege on her promise to pay these workers their paltry wages.
Everyone knows that the government is facing serious financial difficulties, owing to the persistent cry of “budgetary shortfalls.”
We feel, however, that surely the government couldn’t be that broke to pay these little people their wages and protect the President’s good name with them.
Messrs. McClain and Finance Minister Amara Konneh surely know the importance of WORD, which is one’s bond; and considering who the “one” is, not just anyone, but the President of the Republic of Liberia, these Ministers should do everything to possible to ensure that the word is KEPT and, by the same token, HONORED.
Most of us live far from the stinging beaches, and our children and grandchildren are not affected by the deadly diseases they harbor–diarrhea, dysentery, worms and the chief killer of our young ones–malaria, whose treacherous carrier, the anopheles mosquito, breeds and festers best the filth on the “normal day” beaches.
It is precisely for this reason that the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA) and its Commissioner, Binyah Kesselly, initiated the beach cleaning project, covering all Monrovia beaches–those of ELWA, South Beach, West Point, Logan Town, Point Four and New Kru Town. The LMA recognized the absence of toilets and the city sanitation workers in all of these most densely populated townships. That is why under Mr. Kesselly’s leadership the LMA, in a burst of pathos and patriotism, hired locals from these very townships to keep the beaches clean.
That was and remains a very good thing; so surely no one deserves punishment for that; rather praise and sustained support, to bring Monrovia’s beaches on par with those of Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County which, they say, maintain the cleanest ones in the Republic.
No wonder UNMIL personnel, hundreds of other internationals and beach lovers flock to Robertsport every weekend to enjoy the pristine and refreshing sea breeze that Cape Mount’s beaches offer.
This newspaper has long contended that Cape Mount alone could feed Liberia for, like so many other hot tourism spots with which our beloved country is blest, the mountainous capital stands out as a unique and spotless paradise.
Why do we say that, when we also have Harper, Cape Palmas and its beautiful Lake Shepherd, River Cess which former United States Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield believes is Liberia’s most beautiful spot, and all the other places along Liberia’s 350-mile coastline. Then there is the Liberian interior, rich not only in traditional culture, but forests, wildlife and waterfalls, too. We say Cape Mount is unique because there is no place in the world where, within a one mile radius, one can find a river, a lake (Lake Piso), a mountain and an ocean, the Atlantic.
We pray that one day soon the Liberian government will engage some of the world’s best tourism developers to come in and invest in Cape Mount.
But remember, we say Liberia is blest, for all the other reasons listed in the foregoing paragraph. Even the beaches of ELWA, West Point and New Kru Town could be developed for tourism.
But in order to attract the tourists, these beaches must first be cleaned–just like the beaches in Robertsport!
So Minister McClain, Minister Konneh, pay the people their money, save our children in these townships and pave the way for tourism development.