Liberia: Edwin Snowe Laments Impoverish Bomi County Despite Producing President and Speaker of 12 Years
MONROVIA – Bomi County Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe has expressed regrets and disappointment over the poor state and lack of economic and infrastructural developments in Bomi which once immensely contributed to the country’s national budget over the years.
The county is located in western Liberia and it is about 51kilometers from Monrovia.
Though former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the ex-Speaker of the House of Representatives Alex Tyler hailed from Bomi, citizens and residents of the county continue to suffer from the lack of basic social services.
Bad road conditions, lack of access to public electricity, pipe borne water, sanitation, adequate health care delivery, among others remain some of the constraints confronting citizens and residents of the county.
Despite being in a modern era, some citizens of Bomi still use the bushes to defecate due to the lack of public latrines, while others fetch water from nearby creek and river for cooking and drinking purposes in the county which once served as a hub for the mining of iron ores prior to the Liberian civil conflict.
Ore mines in Bomi were previously operated by the erstwhile Liberian Mining Company (LMC); which is a subsidiary of Republic Steel Corporation.
The company was the first in Liberia to export iron ore, after it completed a 43-mile (69-km) narrow-gauge railway to the Freeport of Monrovia in 1951. It shut down mining operations in the late 1970s.
But Senator Snowe said it is appalling to see a county which once contributed towards the growth and development of the nation, through the national budget, to continue to languish behind other counties in terms of economic and infrastructural growth and development in Liberia.
He made these comments over the week end at a program marking the presentation of medical supplies and equipment worth over US$196,000 by the Messages De Vie Ministry of Bishop Mohammed Sanogo to the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Ministry of Health.
The medical supplies and equipment were provided to be exclusively used at the public health facility in Bomi. The ministry also carried out free surgical operations and rehabilitation works at the facility.
Senator Snowe wondered while Bomi which has given so much to national governments in the past continues to linger behind.
“Before the war, Bomi was one of the counties with economic empowerment. We had a big iron ore mine here. Bomi was giving so much to the government. But since the war and the company closed, our people are suffering”.
Speaking further, Senator Snowe frowned at the growing wave of teenage pregnancy among young girls in the county.
He called for the act of young girls getting impregnate and giving birth to babies to be declared a “national emergency” in Liberia.
Senator Snowe emphasized that the current situation is doing more harm than good to Liberia.
“I see young boys-they are on drugs. They are taking the ceiling and using it as drug substance”.
Senator Snowe disclosed that though most hospitals and other medical centers have trained doctors and other health practitioners, the lack of adequate support to boost the sector remains a challenge.
He commended doctors and nurses at the government hospital in Bomi for the tireless efforts they continue to render in the midst of lack of medical equipment and other constraints.
He added that the healthcare workers at the public health facility continue to exhibit a high degree of passion and professionalism in the discharge of their assigned tasks and responsibilities.
Senator Snowe noted that for this reason, doctors, nurses and others assigned at the government hospital in Bomi remain dearest to his heart.
He noted that despite the challenges in the health sector, he sees President George Manneh Weah and Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah as partners that would ensure the improvement of the health sector in his county.
He further expressed dismay over the minimum allocation made in the draft national budget that was recently submitted to the National Legislature by President George Manneh Weah, through the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah.
According to him, the amount, which he did not disclose, is very small for the operations and payment of healthcare workers assigned at the hospital.
Senator Snowe vowed to lobby with his legislative colleagues to increase the present amount allocated to the hospital in Bomi, noting that, “we will fight for our county and the health system”.
He described the health sector of Bomi as one main areas that needs a great level of assistance to guarantee the safety and livelihood of not only citizens and residents of the county, but others from nearby counties including Montserrado, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties respectively.
Speaking further, Senator Snowe commended Bishop Sanogo for the kind gesture to the government and citizens of Bomi.
He, however, called on Bishop Sanogo to see reason to pray for Liberia and its citizens during these difficult times.
“We appreciate what you have brought for us here in Bomi; but what we are asking for the most is for you to pray for us; pray for Liberia. We need prayers for unity. We want to work together for God to bless this county and country”.
He used the occasion to call for unity among sons and daughters hailing from Bomi if the county is to be on par with out counties across Liberia.
Citizens and residents of Bomi have blamed the backwardness and lack of development in the county to the lack of patriotism among their local and elected leaders.
They also claimed that the continuous visible disunity among their elected and appointed government officials continue to deprive the county from receiving its fair share of developments as compare to other counties across Liberia.