Liberia: Grand Cape Mount Lawmakers Want Immediate Investigation of Bea Mountain Alleged Water Pollution

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Capitol Hill, Monrovia – Representatives Emerson V. Kamara (District #3, Grand Mount County) and his colleague, Bob H. Sheriff (District #1, Grand Cape Mount) have expressed disappointment over plenary’s refusal to immediately invite the management of Bea Mountain for questioning following an alleged chemical spillage in its operating area.

In recent days, social media have been flooded with disturbing images of dead aquatic species including fishes as the result of a reported chemical spill that contaminated rivers and creeks in several communities in the Bea Mountain’s operating areas.

In one of the images, a lifeless dog can be seen in a water with a giant-sized dead scale fish. Another picture depict a bundle of dead fish near a water. According to report, the chemical mistakenly entered into the Mafa River which is used by about ten communities as source of water for drinking, cooking and washing.

It is said that residents of the affected communities have left for refuge in the wake of the incident.

On Tuesday, Rep. Acarous Moses Gray brought the situation his colleague’s attention and called on the full plenary to exercise its oversight responsibility by sanctioning an investigation to take measures aimed at addressing the situation.

Following a sustained deliberation, the House voted in favor a somehow vague motion proffered by Rep. Ivar Kokolu Jones (District #2, Margibi County), mandating the House’s Specialized Committee set up by Speaker Bhofal Chambers sometimes ago that is currently probing Bea Mountain.

Prior to the vote, Speaker Chambers ignored Rep. Jones’ first motion calling on the company’s management to appear before the House, while at the same time, the House’s Specialized Committee conducts its investigation.

Reps. Kamara and Sherriff, in disagreement with the decision, called on the House to treat the situation as a national emergency and address it urgently by inviting the company’s management.

“This is beyond committee. Our people are living in fear, and we must invite the company to tell us what is happening to find a solution,” urged Rep. Kamara.

Rep. Samuel Kogar (District #5, Nimba County) also joined the Cape Mount’s lawmakers in asking plenary to invite the company’s management, but his plea was ignored.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency has announced that its Executive Director, Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh has commissioned a team from the agency’s regional office in Tubmanburg, Bomi County along with agency’s scientists from head office in Monrovia to immediately investigate the alleged incident.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the EPA through its head of Media and Corporate Communications, Danise Love Dennis stated that the team will be dispatched to the alleged site to ascertain the gravity of the pollution.

“The public is urged to remain calm as we await a technical report from the team, the EPA strongly advised residents of the alleged affected communities to avoid usage of the water and not to consume any dead aquatic species; especially fishes until further notice,” the EPA urged.

It assures the public that it remains committed to its core value of ensuring a clean, safe and healthy environment for all and urge the public to report any act of pollution across the country.

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