Liberia: Person with Disability Empowered in Climate Change Mitigation
Monrovia – The Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Small Grant Program, through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and other climate change advocacy groups, has embarked on a project to reduce emission of greenhouse effect and preservation of Liberia’s biodiversity.
Speaking Tuesday, February 26, at the launch of a project to support persons living with disabilities, the group’s officials in separate statements said alternative livelihood for people who fully depend on burning of charcoal and farming in biodiversity concentrated areas is another cardinal concerns for them.
The sponsorship is under the auspices of five local organizations that are also creating awareness on climate change mitigation in Liberia.
They include High Self-Esteem Young Liberian Initiative, Mission of Hope for the Disable, National Action for Economic Empowerment and Development, Wade Agriculture Development Industry and the Women Empowerment Program of Liberia.
According to them, persons living with disabilities are mostly challenged and vulnerable to effects caused by global warming, with Liberia being no exception.
In this like, the project: “Support to Person with Disability” launched in Todee, Lower Montserrado County, will provide vocational skills training and agriculture capacity development for persons with disabilities, so that they can be prepared when there is a climate change eventuality.
During the launch, UNDP National Coordinator of the GEF-Small Grant Project Samuel Boakai said persons with disability will be mostly at the disadvantaged state in an event of climate change and the need to have them adequately prepared to meet these challenges is important.
Mr. Boakai noted that the project will run for a period of eight months. He called for the supports of inhabitants of the area to join hands in ensuring that it runs smoothly.
“We will be doing installation of solar panel for the Mission of Hope for Disable and will start the process of raring groundhog, snail and honey bees right here and we need your support to protect it,” Mr. Boakai said.
He said UNDP is concerned with empowering Liberians to become self-efficient.
According to him, investment made during the project will be turned over to the community after the expiration period of the project. The investment is estimated at US$20,000.
Mr. Boakai also noted that partnering organizations will conduct trainings for locals in diverse areas of empowerment to include production of fertilizer from organic materials.
During the event, Samuel Babajuah of High Self-Esteem Young Liberians Initiatives, one of the implementing partners of the project, stated that empowering persons living with disabilities will sustain them through livelihood development.
Babajuah: “After the training, the community will be monitored on the level of development.”
The Director of the Mission of Hope for the Disability, Victor Wilson complained fetching water for household activities and lack of electricity at night has been difficult for them.
He said the installation of solar panel at the Mission of Hope for the Disable in Lower Johnsonville, Montserrado is timely.
“We are here because UNDP has seen the need to empower those who people have forgotten them, therefore we all must support this project because it will also support the community,” Mr. Wilson averred.
“The need for electricity at the mission is important, because the only generator being used by us is down and fetching water for household usage is challenging for our children.”
For his part, NAFEED Executive Director A. Varmah Saydee cautioned dwellers of Todee against usage of chemically-made fertilizer at their farms.
Saydee also said the raring of animals will prevent the killing of other wildlife and help in maintaining biodiversity.
The locals, however, lauded UNDP for the initiative, but called on them to include the participation of dwellers in their activities.
Garmai Myres, Town Chief of Sackie Town, said she and other local officials present, to include Fred Johnson of Gbamo Town and other will ensure that the project areas are secured.
Liberia’s economic is weak and bulk of the low income earners, especially in rural setting depend on farming and burning of charcoal for survival.
But cutting downs trees to farm and burning of charcoal, according to the country’s Environmental Protection sector (EPA) highly contribute to what the world is now striving to reduce, ‘Climate Change.’