Friday, November 12, 2010

Liberia: No Evidence - EPA Says of Firestone Liberia

D.K. Sengbeh

The Deputy Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the Agency has found no evidence of Firestone Liberia polluting or dumping chemical waste into the Farmington River.

Mr. Thomas Romeo Quioh told UNMIL Radio yesterday morning and later this Paper, in a telephone interview, that the reports were untrue, based on investigation conducted.

He said the EPA, upon getting the information, dispatched a team to the alleged affected area (the Farmington River via the Coca-Cola Creek, otherwise known as Zoe Bush), but the team saw no sign of pollution.

"As far as situations are concerned, we did not see the place that is polluted...the people who live in the area say they do not know the place," the acting EPA Chief said.

He said the information was strange and the EPA wanted to authenticate the report, but there is no evidence that Firestone is polluting the area.

Speaking to this paper later after this writer went there for a one-on-one interview with Mr. Quioh, due to bad signals on the phone, the Media Relations Officer (who was instead designated to continue the interview) said the information of pollution by Firestone was "new".

"It's new; that is an allegation, it needs to be confirmed," Mr. Sehgram Gomah said.

He said when the rumor came out the EPA dispatched an investigative team including laboratory staff for inspection. "They went to ascertain the fact and saw no signal, but investigations are ongoing."

"So it's new. We say it's new because we have no facts to say that Firestone is polluting the Farmington River. We have no facts...we don't have an idea, we dispatched a team to go and see whether it is true or not. The team returned and it needs to go back there again; because, for verification and to establish facts you don't make a single trip," Gomah continued. "With this information available, we have the next two, three trips, if possible four, and if it is true, it will be established."

"It has not been established whether Firestone is dumping excrement in the area, there is absolutely no evidence," Mr. Gomah emphasized.

The EPA media man said the allegation is grave and the Agency has not taken it lightly. It will be thoroughly investigated, and the Public will be duly informed, but as of now there are no facts.

The company, he said, currently has a water plant system that handles excrements.

He assured the public that EPA is a public entity working in the interest of lives and the environment.

"This institution is for the Liberian people and our aims and objectives are to protect the health of the Liberian people and to also protect the environment. And the public can be assured that we will not relent."

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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