Petition Underway -To Detach Culture & Tourism From Information Ministry

By Teacee Gbeway

A group under the banner Reclaiming the Liberia Beaches and Waterways Project is expected to petition the 54th National Legislature to create and establish the Center for National Culture & Tourism as an entity detached from the Ministry of Information.

The center, when created, shall be called National Agency for Culture and Tourism. The agency shall be clothed with authority to reclaim, protect, manage, monitor and supervise, maintain and control beaches and waterways along the coastal belts and wetland of Liberia.

According to the petition, the idea is geared towards protecting beaches and waterways from waste and chemical pollutions; improving Liberia’s beaches for tourism and the waterways to support agriculture programs.

The project has enormous positive impacts on communities where it is executed. Accordingly, clean environments are safe environments; clean communities reduce the incidences of outbreaks of diseases and sicknesses like malaria; diarrhea, cholera, et.

The project employed 1, 800 underprivileged Liberians including 20 percent old-age, 40 percent girls, 20 percent people with disabilities, 20 percent boys aimed at ensuring that underprivileged Liberians are directly empowered economically; this has reduced their exposure to rape and exploitation.

The cleaning of beaches and waterways over the period infused cash into the economy through wages paid to workers and other project staff. The project has also infused monies in beneficiaries’ pockets as a means of economic empowerment through which they have increased their power to purchase goods from petty traders and small businesses over a period of time.

This also empowered residents to provide basic social services for their families. It is expected that the cleaning of beaches will also attract investors who are interested in transforming the beaches to resorts, which will create long- term jobs for residents who have skills in service management, housekeeping, among other things.

The project has helped in reducing government spending on outbreak of water and air bone diseases as well as running stomach and diarrheal in slum communities.

It has afforded some workers opportunities to engage into business, which enhances the country’s economy.

The project is also meant to reduce death rate during the Ebola crisis in Liberia.

Since September 2011, the leadership has successfully implemented the first phase, with the Liberia Maritime Authority, the second phase with the MFPD and the third phase with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Initially, the Liberia Maritime Authority as one of the stakeholders whose activities are coastal and waterways- related, funded and managed the first phase of the project before it was officially launched, considering the fact that 80% of the beneficiaries (workforce) were youths between ages 18 to 35.

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) turned over the management of the project to the leadership to the Ministry of Youth and Sports which has the statutory responsibility to develop and implement youth’s empowerment programs and projects.

The program aims at increasing employment opportunities for youths of school going age, in and out of these vulnerable communities as well as vulnerable adults. It also targets vulnerable youths with minimum quota of at least 20% old-age, 40% women, 20% people living with disabilities and 20% men.

This will help improve the sanitation and hygiene condition of the beaches and waterways systems in Liberia; thereby preventing erosion and reduce death rate of mostly children from drowning.

When enacted and turned into handbill, it will further prevent, minimize and discourage illegal sand mining and stop the misuse of waterways in various communities.

The project is in line with the agenda of transformation of the government, impacting the lives of underprivileged Liberians by empowering them through the social economic sector of Liberia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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