Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has officially opened the National Housing Policy workshop for its Housing Policy validation process.At the Thursday, April 17 ceremony, VP Boakai expressed gratitude for the great effort put into the policy crafting enterprise, which cumulated into a Draft National Housing Policy.VP Boakai stressed the government’s commitment to ensuring the improvement of Liberia through the provision of a program that would provide more accommodation for needy citizens.“This is squarely in consideration of the reality that housing constitutes one of the four basic requirements for human survival, including clothes, food, and dignity, that are critical to human rights issue.”VP Boakai explained that the government is aware that a shortage of housing has always been a serious problem over the years in this country—a situation that was compounded by the civil crisis in Liberia.“We want to register thanks to the National Housing Authority and all of the key actors in the sector who have pushed the policy formulation process to the level we recognize today.”VP Boakai called on the public to always appreciate the efforts of the government—making salaries and other benefits available for better livelihood, especially under difficult circumstances.According to VP Boakai, the government is working with other actors to formulate strategies and approaches to tackle the twin-problem of affordability and accessibility that has long impeded the progress of housing in the country.The National Housing Policy workshop brought together officials of government and UN partners, including the chairman of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia, Chief Zanzan Karwor; and Clara Doe Mvrogo, of the Monrovia City Corporation.The Managing Director of the National Housing Authority, Mr. Samuel Thompson, said Liberia had a coherent housing policy, but lost the chance to make the most of that opportunity.He explained, “This has resulted in inefficient land use, unresponsive markets, very poor functionality of shelter, and minimal construction skills, among other issues.”Mr. Thompson expressed thanks to the committee of the National Housing Policy and other partners for the roles in ending some of the difficulties faced by the housing sector in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
We do not know whether the officials of the United Nations are either aware or watching. But they definitely should be, if they are at all concerned about the reputation of this leading and most powerful international organization.We say this because we are very concerned that too often and all too consistently, UN peacekeeping forces have been embroiled in sex scandals of the worst kind, involving even very young children. These unscrupulous, wicked UN people, who call themselves, and whom the UN calls, “peacekeepers,” have frequently been involved in the most heinous of sex crimes, molesting children. They have forgotten, neither do they care to remember, that the UN created in the 1940s, not long after its own founding, a whole new organization solely for the care and protection of the world’s children. It is called the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).Alas! It is these same UN people who go about molesting the world’s children, especially the most vulnerable, the children of Africa. And they do so with impunity—why? The United Nations, from the highest level, it seems, has for decades been bent on covering up its vicious sex offenders and child molesters. We vividly recall how three or more young girls were a few years ago molested by UNMIL personnel. When they were found and sent to court, UNMIL did not rest until they were freed and shipped out of the country. Who knows? Maybe they were later brought back and deployed in other stations to continue the same nefarious practice under cover.We recall, too, what happened last August when a 12 year-old was raped in the Central African Republic, while a 16 year-old boy and his father were indiscriminately killed by “peacekeepers.” There was another incident in that same country involving the molesting of women and children, some of whom were denied food until the “peacekeepers” could have sex with them! Yes, those involved were French “peacekeepers,” and there was a grand cover-up until a whistleblower, fed up with the indiscriminate atrocities against innocent women and children, reported the matter to the UN headquarters in New York. The headquarters’ first reaction was to say that the report had been “prematurely” leaked, until the thing became so foul (offensive) that the headquarters backed off, and a few peacekeepers and some of their superiors were investigated.We recall that it was this same cover-up involving thousands of Roman Catholic priests across many countries in Europe, but especially in the United States, that rocked the church and caused a major embarrassment to many bishops—and The Vatican— who had suppressed the evil behaviors of its priests for decades, until the whole thing exploded.Now here we are, finding this same filth in the very organization that was founded in San Francisco at the end of World War II in 1945 with the sole purpose of restoring peace to the world.Just this past weekend, Radio France International (RFI) reported that a nine-year-old boy in the Gbarnga area was found molested by the same UNMIL “peacekeepers,” who clearly have absolutely no interest in peace, but in patent (blatant) crime against an innocent and hapless Liberian child. How does the UN select its “peacekeepers”? Do they undertake comprehensive background checks? Or are the wrongdoers so entrenched that they consistently employ and give chances to one another?The world must be warned and know that there are some of these international organizations that are infested with many people of deviant behaviors. In this case, women, teenagers or children they come into contact with are at serious risk.Parents, school principals and teachers, student and youth organizations and all concerned organizations and individuals among the Liberian citizenry must beware of the people who enter our borders to engage in “doing good.” We must remember that not all “good doers” are genuine. Many are afflicted with miscreant (criminal-minded) behaviors. The sooner we know this and be on our guard, the better for our children and us.Eternal vigilance should be our watchword. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A man who appeared to be in his 30s who claimed that he was only 16 years old was ordered by Magistrate Fabayo Azore to be mentally evaluated when he appeared before her on Tuesday charged for snatching a cellphone.Kareem McKenzie, of Lot 136 Kingston, Georgetown, denied that he robbed Andrew Robertson of the phone valued $35,000 on July 25, 2018 at South Ruimveldt. With an American accent, McKenzie told the Court that the charge against him has been fabricated. However, Police Prosecutor Simone Payne revealed that the Virtual Complainant (VC), who is known to the accused, reported that he snatched his phone and fled. The man, who previously appeared before Azore earlier this year charged for a similar offence, was for the second time ordered to be evaluated by Government Psychiatrist, Dr Bhiro Harry. He was remanded to prison. The case will continue on August 15, 2018. As the defendant was being escorted from Court, he threatened a Police Officer that he would “cuff” him in his face.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Country Representative to Guyana and Suriname, Sylvie Fouet, has called for more provision to be made to allow young people the opportunity to voice their opinions on matters that affect them.“We are here to hear your voices and what you hope to convey about your hopes…. We celebrate young people and their lives and we stand for their rights,” Fouet said on Tuesday evening, during an observation of World Children’s Day, held at Duke Lodge in Georgetown.Commending the Government for its emphasis on the development of youths, the UN representative noted that events such as these allow young peopleUNICEF’s Country Representative to Guyana and Suriname, Sylvie Fouetto hold those accountable for promises made regarding their development.Chairperson of the Rights of the Child Commission (RCC) Aleema Nasir, said theorganisation, in partnership with UNICEF, has provided youths with opportunities that form a critical part of their education and shaping their ability to champion and advocate for human rights in Guyana. She noted that while it is good to reflect on the organisation’s progressive programmes for young people, there is more to be done for the provision of equal opportunities.“The RCC over the years enjoyed a fruitful partnership with UNICEF promoting and advancing the rights and interest of children in Guyana. We do look forward similarly to a healthy and vibrant future of partnership intended to activate and actualise the ambitious declarations of the United Nations Convention on the rightsScenes from the World Children’s Day eventof the child,” Nasir is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.In her address to the gathering, youth ambassador, Esther Marslowe remarked, “UNICEF is important as it helps to give children that are vulnerable, a platform to be strong; for those without a voice – a voice, and for those living in despair – hope.”Launched in 1954, the annual observation of World Children’s Day aims to improve child welfare worldwide, promote and celebrate children’s rights and promote togetherness and awareness amongst all children. It also coincides with UN General Assembly adopting the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
…loss of money of utmost concern – Chairman Farmers of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are fuming after the seed paddy which they obtained from the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) did not germinate, causing additional financial burden to replant acres of land.However, the GRBD is claiming that the farmers are not being truthful. According to the GRBD, the rice farmers on the Essequibo Coast are telling a different story to the one told in Parliament on Thursday last by Rice Producer Association (RPA), General Secretary Dharamkumar Seeraj in relation to failed-seed paddy.Head of the Rice Farmers Association of Region Two, Naithram, who is also the agriculture coordinator for the region, said he is currently making representation for several farmers who were sold seed paddy, particularly the GRBD 10 seed paddy, by the RPA.He said that contrary to what was related in the National Assembly, it was not the GRDB 10 seed paddy that failed to germinate, but the paddy sold to farmers by the RPA during the last crop.However, Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt is not entertaining any of the explanations, noting that it is the plight of the farmers he is concerned about, and as such, is calling on the GRDB to assist the affected farmers. The Regional Chairman maintained that the GRBD 10 seed paddy is indeed the variety mentioned by the farmers as the one they would have purchased, and which is not germinating.Speaking with Guyana Times on Saturday, Ramdatt said, “The concerns the farmers are raising is that they purchased this variety that is known as GRDB 10… If they’re now having this issue with the seed paddy not germination and an additional expense to sow again, then cost of production is increasing. I think that the GRDB needs to help in whatever way they can.”Ramdatt indicated that the cost for one bag of seed paddy is just under $5000. He noted that since the seed paddy did not germinate, a loss is incurred while additional money is spent to buy new seeds and replant. He added that in many cases, farmers bought over 100 bags of seeds which they had to return.“A number of farmers would have said that they had to purchase back seed paddy to sow and it is an increased cost we have to incur. The actual cost per bag of paddy to sow is about $5000. If they have to sow for every acre, it will cost them not only a bag and a half per acre but they have to pay to broadcast (plant) the seed which is to sow back again,” the Chairman related.He noted that the concern lies within the financial constraints which these persons have been faced with, having been owed by millers and increased production costs.“My concern is that all of this is a burden on the farmers because this now adds to additional existing challenges that they’re facing. It has to do with the delay in payment by millers, increase in prices for fertiliser and fuel.”On Wednesday, the Chairman visited some of the affected farmers where complaints surfaced about hundreds of acres of rice fields being affected.The farmers said those who sowed the GRDB 10 were forced to replant their fields using different varieties of seedlings, which is an additional cost to them. According to several farmers who were present during the site visit, the entire Region Two rice industry is in trouble since farmers are not being treated equally and millers are taking advantage of their situation.Farmers also complained that they are losing confidence in the GRDB, noting that that the field officers are not doing their jobs by visiting the farmers and monitoring the industry. According to the farmers, since the new Administration assumed duties, subvention was removed from the RPA and the GRDB is the only body left to give technical support.
…call for wage increasesHundreds of sugar workers employed at the Albion Sugar Estate, Berbice, downed their tools since Thursday as they call for a pay increase.This action has severely affected operations at the sugar estate, and those who are on strike action are calling on the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to address the matter before they resume duties.According to the Guyana Agriculture and General Workers Union (GAWU), since 2015, the wages of sugar workers have been “frozen” and there has been no increase allotted to those workers for the past four years.In a statement to the media on Friday, GAWU said that “the naked discrimination against this hardworking group of the State’s employees manifested through denials of pay increases and attacks on other longstanding benefits and conditions coupled with an ever-rising tax burden, among the other hardships of contemporary Guyanese life, have severely eroded the workers and their families purchasing power and by extension, their standard of living”.The Union argued that the protesting workers at the Albion Sugar Estate are “peeved over the arbitrary hiking” of the Estate’s weekly production targets, as they contended that the increase in the Estate’s targets from 2,100 tonnes of sugar to 2,140 would be disadvantageous.As such, it will prevent the Estate from reaching the target and, thereby, affect incentives arising on the attainment of the target.“The workers argue, quite correctly, that the inability to achieve target through the arbitrary increase could well daunt their commitment and belie the notion of the incentive in the first place. Additionally, workers engaged in the mechanical loading of canes are upset regarding what they believe is an unnecessary change in their hours of work”.According to the GAWU, another issues is that the “bell loader operators” would usually commence duties daily from 06:00h and cease work at 18:00h during the cropping period. However, GuySuCo now requires these workers to work from 10:00h to 22:00h.Another issue, the Union said, regards the workers engaged in the mechanical tillage tasks, who have rightly disagreed with the arbitrary downward adjustments of their pay rates pertaining to certain tasks. The Union is awaiting a meeting with the Industrial Relations Department of GuySuCo to address the matter.In light of the series of complaints by the sugar workers, GAWU is urging GuySuCo to address the matters as soon as possible. According to the Union, only then will the workers resume their duties.The Skeldon, Rose Hall and East Coast Demerara (Enmore) estates were closed in December 2017, leaving thousands of workers jobless. The Wales Sugar Estate was the first to shut down in 2016. Only three estates are currently in operation – Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt.Some of the protesting workers
The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) has lashed out at the APNU/AFC coalition Government for not extending its hand for any consultations with the party on critical matters relating to the State’s impending oil and gas sector.During a press conference at WPA Party Headquarters in Queenstown, Georgetown on Thursday, the WPA called on the ruling Administration to establish a Renewable Energy Ministry.The call for this establishment comes despite the Ministry of the Presidency’s assuming responsibility of the petroleum sector from Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman in January, 2018.The WPA, which forms part of the APNU, said Government should establish theWPA Headquarters in Queenstown, GeorgetownRenewable Energy Ministry to frame the sector’s policy and implement actions to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs, and advance non-carbon energy technologies.That party’s calls for openness and transparency are seemingly coming from the wilderness, as described by WPA executive and political analyst Dr. David Hinds, who however is adamant that the party will continue to fight for its voice in the coalition, as it has always believed in power sharing since its 1974 inception.“The WPA is not a ‘yes’ partner in the coalition; we are not yes men. Along with the PNC, we worked very hard to bring the APNU into being, and the Coalition (Government) into being. We believe in coalition politics, but we are not prepared to be part of a coalition where we just go along,” Dr Hinds asserted.When the party was further probed, another executive, Tacuma Ogunseye pointed out that the APNU does not have an adequate forum within which its partners can meet for pre-consultations.Ogunseye said that while the major decisions are made by Cabinet, the parties that constitute the APNU do not have a say beforehand. He said that while this situation has been ongoing for the last two years, nothing has been done to resolve it.Meanwhile, that party, in a release, said it was the first party to call on Government to publically release the oil contract with US-based oil giant ExxonMobil. WPA highlighted that the current Administration, of which it is part, did not consult with its leaders on the oil and gas industry that it expects to improve the economic prospects of Guyana.“Although WPA is a member of the governing coalition, and have within our ranks persons with known expertise on the economics of oil and gas, we have never been consulted or briefed on the negotiations,” the party pointed out.The WPA, however, says it’s optimistic about the nation’s future, despite the inevitable challenges. As of August 1, 2018, Environmental Economist Dr Mark Bynoe was appointed to Head the Department of Energy. ExxonMobil is expected to pump Guyana’s first oil by 2020.
18 riders hit the road Sunday afternoon for the 60 km event, but it was 2011 champion Pat Ferris who had a great view from behind as he watched both George Gamble and Kevin Shaw sprint to the finish line. Both Shaw and Gamble crossed the finish line at a time of 1:57:13, with Shaw narrowly edging out his competitor.Pat Ferris finished the event third at 2:02:08.Bilodeau’s Queen of Spring three-peat came at time of 2:22:05.- Advertisement -The event also featured the 20 km event, with Sarah and Norman Webster completing the race at a time of 1:28:10, while Richard Moody won the 32 km event at 1:16:40.Next up for the Blizzard Bike Club and its dedicated members will be the second Duathlon of the season. The second of five races in the Duathlon series will take place Tuesday, May 8, starting from Baldonnel School.For more information on the Blizzard Bike Club or any of its upcoming events, visit the Club’s official website. Advertisement
The Ministry of Transportation has issued tenders to upgrade roads around Fort St. John that will be affected by the Site C project.The upgrades include three roads located about two kilometres south of Fort St. John that will be done in partnership with B.C. Hydro. The work includes upgrading and paving to 1.6km of the 240 Road, upgrades and paving to 900 metres of the 269 road and the installation of street lights at various intersections along the Old Fort Road and the 240 road.According to the Ministry, this will be the first contract the Ministry will tender in association with BC Hydro as part of the Site C project. Work is expected to start this summer and be completed in September 2016.- Advertisement –