WHY US, LIBERIA: WHY DO WE BEAR THE GREATEST BURDEN OF THE EBOLA SCOURGE?

first_imgAll Liberians should seriously ponder why Liberia with a population of only about 4 million should account for more than half of the Ebola deaths. Sierra Leone has a population of about 6 million and Guinea around 12 million. Why did a population of 4 million come to account for more than half of the Ebola deaths than a combined population of around 18 million in Guinea and Sierra Leone?Let me start by citing the The Liberian Daily Observer editorial of September 17, 2014 https://www.liberianobserver.com/editorials/needed-think-tank-help-liberians-start-doing-things-differently-hence-forth: “When, by God’s grace, we overcome this Ebola crisis, Liberia and Liberians will need to start doing everything differently…We need a THINK-TANK … to help us to chart a more constructive and brighter future for ourselves and our posterity”.The asymmetrical and disproportionate impact of the Ebola on us than on Sierra Leone and Guinea should make us rethink our strategies: the things we should have done but didn’t do and the things we should not have done but did.Let us look at the way Ebola is spread. We are told that we should not be afraid of Ebola because it is not spread through the air but by contact with … bodily fluids like blood, sweat etc of an Ebola infected person. Well, Liberia is in the Tropics and it is a hot country. In addition, most people walk. When you walk in the heat in a hot country, you sweat a lot and most Liberians sweat and sweat is one of the major conduits of Ebola. Thus in a densely populated area, sweaty contacts are easy to come by. Just walk along streets in Monrovia and it will become apparent how easily sweaty contacts can be made.Let us take a look at some density issues. Guinea occupying an area of about 95,000 square miles has a population of around 12 million. Metro Conakry has a population of about two million or about one-sixth of the population, or roughly 17% . Sierra Leone occupying an area of about 28,000 square miles has a population of around six  million. Metro Freetown has a population of around 1.1 million or, again, around 18% of the population. Compare these to Liberia, occupying an area of around 43,000 square miles, with a population of roughly four million. Metro Monrovia has a population of around 1.3 million or about 32%.  So, roughly one-third of the population of Liberia is in the Metro Monrovia area. We can see how dense the Monrovia environ is and, therefore, how easily the Ebola virus can spread.Why did Liberia have more than half of the Ebola deaths? We should remind ourselves that we cannot excuse ourselves because of coups and wars. Both Sierra Leone and Guinea have had the same disruptive issues. Indeed the more gruesome things like lost limbs occurred more in Sierra Leone than in any other place. So we should really and seriously consider the reasons why we should account for more than half of all the deaths from the Ebola virus. Maybe it is the bad things we should not have done but have done and the good things we should have done but have left undone.Let us take a look at some of these. Liberia cannot develop the way it wants to without a robust and effective devolution of powers and resources to the counties or regions. Dr. Sawyer knows how hard I have insisted on this, way back, even before the 1986 Constitution. We had worked on a pattern of devolution with, at that time, fewer counties. I still wish that, for purposes of development, we had fewer counties but we can not go there now because of political and delimitation issues. I was told, at that time, that the legal advisers of President Doe did not think that that is how a strong man governed and, to put it in colloquial terms, he should be able, and have the power, to appoint the lowest dog catcher in the smallest village. So it was not done. I have been adamant about this issue of devolution and I have come back to it time and time again, this time, recently, even suggesting a formula for revenue reallocation and enduring political structures for the counties. Some have argued that with devolution there will be too much corruption in the counties to which I counter by saying that even now there is a huge volume of corruption in “River City”; that the counties with their own resources can manage their development and even compete with one another; that the counties will be able to attract indigenous people and technically skilled people to increase the population and help the development. I am still insisting on a robust devolution because I am convinced that it will bring about excellent benefits to the Nation and spread the wealth of the country more evenly and more equitably.One of the effects of devolution, I submit to you, is the even distribution of the population, easing the population pressure on Monrovia and its environs. I am always puzzled why most of the Ministries do not have full functioning branches in all the counties —Agriculture, Youth & Sports, Commerce, Finance, Information, Transport, Public Works, Labor, Gender, Posts & Telecom, Health and Human Services, etc and agencies like EPA, Forestry, GSA. Indeed, these regional or county branch offices can make effective local data collectors for the central government, thereby making it possible for the government to have more accurate and reliable national data. With a functioning devolution and regional or county branches of Central ministries, we will have these regions developing robustly and fast, while, at the same time, reducing the pressure on Monrovia and its environs. I am sure that Monrovia is not able now and will be far less able in the future to sustain the influx and growth of its population. It does not now and will not have the amenities nor the basic infrastructure to sustain a larger and growing population.There is also another growth effect. As the counties have their own resources to develop, other businesses like banks, restaurants, barber shops, tailors and seamstresses and other shops will spring up thereby attracting more people and, again, reducing the pressure on Monrovia. Monrovia will not be the only center of government and population growth and that will be good for the entire Nation.There is also an additional benefit that accrues from this. We may not know it or we may know it and look away, but as the “up country” pours into Monrovia, foreigners (you know who they are) pour in to fill the vacant spaces. There are now many towns in Liberia that have “plenty” of foreigners, good neither for our growth and development nor for loyalty to the Motherland. A robust devolution will help us solve some of these issues and problems. If more and more indigenous Liberians stayed behind “up country”, it will be more difficult for foreigners to invade and occupy our towns and villages.One of the arguments when Ebola first showed its ugly head from Guinea into Liberia was that we could not close the border because of the food coming in from Guinea. We have a very fertile land, why have we so neglected our agriculture? Agriculture should be a major priority and with it and many road arteries to bring the food to the market we can have food sufficiency. There is, for example, a 1970 extensive study on the problems and prospects of rice production in Liberia that is still relevant today. If the recommendations were followed, we may be self-sufficient in rice production today and less reliant on imports. It is important to note here that the concentration of the population in the urban area has constrained governments to advocate and make policies that are urban-friendly and appease the urban dwellers to the detriment of the whole country. The importation of rice and its heavy subsidization has blunted the domestic rice production. No well-meaning farmer will make an input of, say, seven dollars in producing a hundred-pound bag of rice and sell it for six dollars while at the same time giving away, free, a couple of bags to politicians, soldiers, police officers and the like. Local farmers are not stupid. They are experienced and are economically savvy.Why did all those who took the entrance examination to the University of Liberia fail? Why are more and more students taking the West Africa examinations failing? Why do we not have enough seats in schools even at the university? Why are there not enough, some times no, books for students? Why aren’t there enough qualified teachers in the schools? There is also an earlier study on teacher retention in Liberia done with Dr. Jabaru Carlon. We cannot continue to blame all our social, economic and development problems on the civil war. We are more than ten years from the war and more than eight years into a democratically elected government. As the editorial said, we need to start  doing things differently. Maybe this ugly Ebola has come to open our eyes to the fact that we should figure out new and creatively novel ways of approaching and solving our problems. We need to ask ourselves very serious questions about the way forward.Our health and road infrastructures need to be attended to urgently. I am not unaware of the flow directions of Liberian rivers, from north to south, and therefore the engineering difficulties in road and bridge construction. But I am told that this can be overcome by long north south roads and short east west roads. We need good roads all over the country and not just in the Monrovia area. The road system will facilitate agriculture, health delivery and even education. It will facilitate trade and communication.As I see it, devolution will help us solve a lot of our problems and we will not be in a position where a catastrophe like Ebola will impact us far more than it impacted countries much larger than we are. Let us get our priorities straight. Let us provide the leadership to significantly curb, abate and reduce CORRUPTION (notice that I did not say ERADICATE because, for all practical reasons, that is an impossibility). Let us go out and resolve to make a better Liberia. Let us chart a new course and apply new ideas, even organize a THINK-TANK to help us chart new and novel territories. We have abundant resources.  Let us use them wisely, prudently and equitably for the benefit of all Liberians.Dr. Igolima T. D. Amachree is a professor of Sociology emeritus. He can be reached at         it-amachree@wiu.edu. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

OSB Plant Curtailments

first_imgPeace Valley OSB plant General Manger Chris Baby confirmed this morning there will be 18 days of market curtailment in December at the Fort St. John facility.He told a year end news briefing, that the fourth quarter of this year has been the worst downturn the plant has seen in three years of operation… [asset|aid=711|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=be0b2e33aadaaefd794900ba796665e5-Baby-1_2_Pub.mp3] Mr. Baby also talked about the staff and morale impact of the curtailments…- Advertisement – [asset|aid=712|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=be0b2e33aadaaefd794900ba796665e5-Baby-2_3_Pub.mp3] Today’s news briefing comes on the heals, of a report from PriceWaterhouse-Coopers, showing Western Canadian forest companies, recorded a combined 230 million dollar third quarter loss this year, nearly 100 million more, than in the same quarter a year ago.last_img

Newcastle fans react to Cabella’s performance v Man City – and his hair!

first_img Remy Cabella impressed in his Premier League debut, but his hair didn’t 1 Newcastle United’s agonising 2-0 opening weekend defeat to Manchester City has offered up a number of talking points, but perhaps the biggest topic on Tyneside is Remy Cabella and his hair.The French attacker – signed earlier this summer from Montpellier – certainly looked at home, but his barnet seemed to detract from his dazzling feet, as can be seen from the reactions below…last_img

VAR denies Brazil as Venezuela battle to draw

first_img0Shares0000Brazil’s Philippe Coutinho celebrates before his goal against Venezuela is disallowed after a VAR ruling © AFP / Juan MABROMATASALVADOR, Brazil, Jun 19 – Brazil were held to a 0-0 draw against Venezuela in the Copa America on Tuesday after a dramatic finale which saw a late Philippe Coutinho strike ruled out by VAR.Coutinho thought he had fired Brazil into the quarter-finals in the 87th minute when he bundled home a finish from Everton Soares’ driving run down the left wing at Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova. But for the second time in the match, Chilean referee Julio Bascunan ruled out a Brazilian goal after being alerted to an infringement by the video assistant referee.The goal appeared to have been disallowed due to a touch by Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino, although it was not clear that Firmino had been offside as the ball grazed him on the way into the net.Brazil left the field to boos but remain top of Group A with four points from two games, and one game to play.Venezuela have two points from two games and will fancy their chances of advancing with their final game coming against Bolivia, who suffered their second straight defeat earlier Tuesday in a 3-1 loss to Peru.Brazil coach Tite meanwhile had no issues with the two VAR-assisted decisions that ruled out his side’s goals.“They made the right call with both goals,” Tite said. “VAR was correct. I have absolutely nothing to demand — we got justice,” he added.Venezuela coach Rafael Dudamel meanwhile praised an “almost perfect” performance from his team.“Today is very important, but this result will mean nothing if we don’t qualify from the group,” Dudamel said.Brazil, who had made hard work of beating Bolivia in their opener, once again struggled to find a creative spark against well-organized opponents.“We did not have the creativity we were looking for,” he said. “The team was a bit anxious in that respect. We have to improve — we rushed our finishing and we didn’t give their goalkeeper much to do.”Firmino was kept quiet by Venezuela’s defense with Yordan Osorio and Mikel Villanueva neutralizing the Liverpool striker.The tale of the first half lay in the statistics from the opening 45 minutes, with Brazil recording only one shot on target despite enjoying 75 percent possession.In fact, the best chance of the half fell to Venezuela, when Salomon Rondon headed Yangel Herrera’s cross just inches wide with Alisson beaten.– Firmino denied –Firmino did get the ball in the Venezuela net in the 38th minute but the goal was disallowed after Bascunan ruled Villanueva had been fouled in the build-up.Brazil left the field to loud boos and whistling, and manager Tite wasted no time in making a change at half-time, bringing on Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus for Richarlison.Jesus made an instant impact looking lively down the left flank and curling a shot just wide of the post on 57 minutes.Moments later Jesus looked to have fired Brazil into the lead.Once again the striker advanced menacingly on the Venezuela penalty area and unleashed a fierce low shot.The ball deflected off Villanueva into the path of Firmino, who then squared for Jesus who continued his run.The striker took a touch and buried his finish as the home fans erupted.But the festive atmosphere fell flat as the goal was referred to VAR, who promptly chalked the score off after ruling Firmino had been offside when he collected the ricochet.A deflated Brazil took several minutes to regroup but grew increasingly desperate as valuable minutes ticked away and Venezuela held firm.Jesus went close again in the 76th minute when Dani Alves whipped a cross into the six-yard box.But again Venezuela’s defense was rock-solid, with Jesus bundled off the ball and unable to get a shot away.Coutinho looked to have broken the deadlock three minutes from time, but VAR’s intervention rescued a precious point for Venezuela.Fernandinho almost snatched victory with a header in the 10th minute of time added on, but his effort rolled just wide of the post.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Poll: What would constitute success for England at Euro 2016?

first_img Poll: What would constitute success for England at Euro 2016? 1 The Drive boys want your views…last_img

Southern California Muslims mourn Bhutto

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonHathout also discussed the centrality of a peaceful Pakistan to the Muslim world. “Pakistan is a very important country to Islam,” Hathout said. “We hope it does not become engulfed in instability.” A typical Friday service draws about 750 worshippers, said Edina Lekovic, a spokeswoman for the center. Many Pakistanis lingered after the service to talk about the status and safety of relatives in the chaotic political situation. “I’ve been running around since yesterday morning calling people and trying to cope with the fear,” Ahmed Ali said. More than 1,000 Southern California Muslims gathered Friday for a special prayer service to mourn assassinated Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto and condemn violence done in the name of Islam. Maher Hathout of the Islamic Center of Southern California focused his weekly address on Bhutto and 27 others killed in Thursday’s attack. “Islam does not glorify death,” Hathout said. “Just read the Koran: It is a call to life, not death.” The crowd swelled into overflow rooms and the parking lot as the center’s usual Friday prayer service included a funeral prayer for Bhutto, who was laid to rest earlier in the day in Garhi Khuda Baksh, Pakistan. Razaq Chaudhry of the Council of Pakistan American Affairs called the killing of Bhutto “a serious blow to the future of democracy in Pakistan.” Hathout refrained from naming any particular Islamic groups or leaders in his address, though on Friday Pakistan’s government asserted that al-Qaida was behind the assassination. “If it is found to be al-Qaida or Taliban, that is clearly something that flies in the face of Islamic teaching, and we are all opposed to that unequivocally,” Lekovic said at a news conference after the service.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Chelsea ‘likely’ to bid for Sanchez, Mourinho wants Matic and more…GOSSIP

first_img All the top transfer-related stories in Saturday’s newspapers… 1 Here are the top transfer-related stories in Saturday’s newspapers…Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is ‘increasingly likely’ to make a sensational move to bring Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez to Stamford Bridge. The north London club are determined not to sell to a Premier League rival if Sanchez does try to push for a move this summer. (The Independent)Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is plotting a shock £25m move to re-sign Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Argentine wants to lure the Swansea ace back to White Hart Lane in the belief he is a better and cheaper alternative to Ross Barkley, who Everton value at £50m. (Daily Star)Man City are lining up an £80million double raid on Sporting Lisbon for William Carvalho and Gelson Martins. Sources in Lisbon claim City are prepared to offer £63m for the Portuguese pair, but insist Sporting will demand they stump up a further £17m for their two prize assets. (The Sun)Jose Mourinho wants a reunion with Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic. The Man United boss, who is set for a busy summer, is determined to sign a dominant holding midfielder to succeed Michael Carrick and bring the best out of Paul Pogba. (Manchester Evening News)Tianjin Quanjian have confirmed they have struck a deal in principle with a world class striker amid continuing reports linking them with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Diego Costa. The Chinese Super League club’s chairman said they ‘will get [at least] one, but two [signings from Europe] is also possible.’ (Metro)Slaven Bilic has confirmed that West Ham have triggered their option to keep Adrian at the club until 2019. (London Evening Standard)Gareth Bale has told Real Madrid’s board to sign Welsh team-mate Ben Woodburn, 17, from Liverpool. (Don Balon)Bundesliga title-challengers RB Leipzig are looking to make a splash in the Champions League…by signing young English talent. They are keen on Manchester City’s Jadon Sancho & Chelsea’s Dominic Solanke. (Daily Mail)Jose Mourinho is going head-to-head with Pep Guardiola as they chase Benfica keeper Ederson, 23. (The Mirror)Ben Gibson insists ‘no decisions’ have been made over his long-term Middlesbrough future but reiterated his desire to become a Premier League regular. (Gazette Middlesbrough)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…?Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov launches £1billion bid to buy ArsenalMark Lawrenson predictions: How the final Premier League table would look if pundits tips came trueRevealed: What could still happen on the final day of the Premier League seasonFernando Llorente has been ‘brilliant’ in helping Swansea avoid relegation this season, according to long-serving midfielder Leon BrittonYannick Bolasie has provided an update on his recovery from injury to talkSPORT – LISTENNeil Lennon says Brendan Rodgers has taken Celtic to another level – and warned Rangers it will take them many years to catch their Old Firm rivalsLiverpool will have to fork out at least £43m if they want to land former Chelsea flop Mohamed SalahEverton will have to fight off competition from Lazio and Napoli if they want to sign Juventus goalkeeper Neto this summerSunderland boss David Moyes has warned Jordan Pickford’s suitors not to expect a fire-sale price after confirming the club will only consider offers of around £30millionAC Milan are ready to fight West Ham for Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaletalast_img read more

Sam Clucas completes deadline day move to Stoke

first_imgStoke have secured the signing of Swansea midfielder Sam Clucas for an undisclosed fee.Clucas has signed a four-year contract with the Potters, who made 36 appearances in all competitions for the south Wales club last season. Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer LATEST Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Latest Transfer News targets IN DEMAND LIVING THE DREAM “Most importantly for me though, he has a great character, he is incredibly mobile and he is exceptionally good technically – he gives us a lot of different options and we are delighted to welcome him to the Club.”Chief Executive Tony Scholes added: “Sam is undoubtedly a Premier League calibre player and has been one of Gary Rowett’s prime targets during the transfer window, so we are delighted to have managed to get the deal over the line.” REVEALED The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star center_img The Potters have completed the signing of @SwansOfficial midfielder @samclucas for an undisclosed fee.The 27-year-old has signed a four-year contract at the bet365 Stadium👉 https://t.co/KvPDGZjJCj#SCFC 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/rCgeEbODA7— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) August 9, 2018Clucas was unable to prevent Swansea from suffering relegation from the Premier League last season and was linked with a move to Burnley but that deal fell through.Instead he opted to join Stoke, who were also relegated from the top flight last season.He becomes their seventh signing of the summer, following Peter Etebo, Benik Afobe, Adam Federici, James McClean, Tom Ince and Ashley Williams in making moves to the bet365 Stadium.Potters boss Gary Rowett was delighted with the late acquisition of Clucas, saying he boasts “real Premier League quality.”Speaking to stokecityfc.com, Rowett said: “I think this is a great deal for us as a football club, especially when you take into account the sum of money he moved for just a year ago.“Sam boasts real Premier League quality, and the versatility that he offers will be hugely important to us, as he can play in any of the midfield areas, he is very comfortable out wide and he can play at left-back too.” Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti RANKED targets Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father moving on last_img read more

Which club has the bigger icon: Liverpool or Napoli?

first_img It’s hard to go anywhere in Naples without being reminded of Maradona In 515 games, he scored 173 and won nine league titles, three FA Cups, five League Cups and three European Cups.He enjoys legendary status on Merseyside and there’s even a stand at Anfield named in his honour. 2 It’s Napoli v Liverpool live on talkSPORT from 19:30 on Wednesday 3 October.It’s a meeting between two of their respective league’s biggest teams, with both boasting star quality and associations with two of the biggest names in the game’s history. Dalglish has a stand at Anfield named after him 2 Diego Maradona‘s time at Napoli, despite it being short, elevated him to God-like status.Walk around the city and you’ll see murals – and even buildings plastered with his face. It was his breathtaking ability on the ball that leave many to consider him to be one of the greatest of all time.Around 75,000 Neapolitans turned up to see Maradona unveiled in 1984 and with the Argentine pulling the strings, Napoli won their first ever Serie A title in 1987. He was there for their most successful period, which brought the Coppa Italia in 1987, the UEFA Cup in 1989 and a second title in 1990. In between then he won the 1986 World Cup.Then there’s Kenny Dalglish aka ‘King Kenny’ to Liverpool supporters and icon of the a city, which is thanks in part to his ability with the ball at his feet, but also his conduct in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.last_img read more

SCHOOLS ATHLETICS: DETAILS FOR CROSS COUNTRY CHALLENGE ANNOUNCED

first_imgThe 12th annual primary schoools cross country challenge is all set for September 28th @ Finn Valley AC, Stranorlar.It has drawn an enthusiastic response from the schools in the Donegal area over the years and catering as it does for the small, medium and large school sizes in terms of team outcomes it has proved not only interesting but enjoyable.The local organisation has been excellent and all schools tend to be back at their home base no later than the end of the school day. It provides a physical education / recreational / healthy opportunity  for young students and a challenge to be enjoyed.CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS:DONEGAL DAILY – CUMANN LUTHCLEAS NA Mbunscoil 2011SCHOOLS ATHLETICS: DETAILS FOR CROSS COUNTRY CHALLENGE ANNOUNCED was last modified: September 2nd, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CROSS COUNTRY SCHOOLS CHAMPIONSHIPSFinn Valley AClast_img read more