WHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?We hope that todays “Readers Forum” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we as responsible citizens of this community need to address in a rational and responsible way?Todays READERS POLL question is: Are you pleased that the Vanderburgh County Council members voted 5-2 to increase our wheel tax?Please take time and read our newest feature articles entitled “LAW ENFORCEMENT, READERS POLL, BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS” posted in our sections. You now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily.If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected]’S FOOTNOTE: Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City County Observer or our advertisers.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
When Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf first took power after the 2005 post-war election, she called on Liberian professionals living abroad to return home and help with the building of the war torn nation.Many Diaspora Liberians responded to Sirleaf’s call immediately with some even sending in credentials. But many never received any feedback. Despite the disappointment, scores of professional Liberians continue to return home every year to stay; most work in such fields as business, health, education, administration, and relief-aid. Among the latest returnees is Mr. Tamba Aghailas, a son of Lofa County.The Liberian civil war (1989 – 2003) affected every sector and aspect of our nation. One of the lingering effects is the brain-drain or human-capital flight it occasioned.Thousands of Liberians fled home to seek refuge in various parts of the world. Unsurprisingly, this created a vacuum in Liberia’s labor force.This vacuum gave rise to an influx of expatriates, mainly from English speaking West African countries, to fill the human resource gap in various sectors of the economy.To counter this trend, the Liberian government and citizens started urging the return of Liberians in the Diaspora who have acquired the requisite education and skills and are willing to contribute to the reconstruction efforts in Liberia.However, many Liberians find this to be a hard choice as the decision to return often means abandoning more financially lucrative and stable careers in the West. As a result, they are often unwilling to relocate permanently.While some Liberians return home to seek appointments in government or elected seats, their migration is only temporary as they return abroad as soon as they lose those jobs or elected seats.Nonetheless, some exceptionally patriotic and dutiful Liberians do exist. They are the ones who make the whole-hearted choice to abandon their comfort-zones in the West and commit to a life of service at home for the love of their country and people.One such person is Tamba D. Aghailas—who left Liberia to seek refuge in various West African countries, then landed in the United States of America during the height of the Liberian civil war. Mr. Aghailas broke the news recently that he is, without any precondition, coming home to contribute his quota to reconstruction.“As much as we appreciate the continued assistance of international partners, Liberians must step-up to steer the destiny of their nation.”According to Mr. Aghailas, he is coming home to contribute to reconstruction and to pass on and share the skills and experience he has acquired over the years with the future leaders of Liberia – the youth. At his core, he is a human rights advocate, one who has chosen to “lend his voice to the voiceless people of Liberia,” as he put it.He is founder and director of The Voice of Liberia—an online publication, from which he has written extensively on human right issues.This son of Liberia is indeed a trailblazer. His sacrifice sets an example for the countless skilled Liberians who live in the Diaspora, who have yet to follow his example.Their talent, skills and resources have the potential to unlock and accelerate the creation of a strong and viable middle class in post-conflict Liberia.Mr. Aghailas currently resides in New York City with his family and works as a Human Resource professional with an international nonprofit organization.Mr. Aghailas will bring with him extensive human resource and life experiences from which he expects his fellow Liberians to benefit.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Stabroek Market Wharf…current operation unfeasible – vendorsReconstruction of the Stabroek Market Wharf, which has been in a deplorable state for quite some time is yet to begin.A burnt section of the Stabroek Market WharfThe wharf, which has been in a deplorable state for many years, was cordoned off last year to facilitate rehabilitative works but no work commenced. On November 20, 2018, stall holders who were still operating at the wharf were forced to evacuate as the facility caught fire.When contacted on Monday about the delays of the rehabilitation project, Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson in a brief interview with this publication revealed that the project has already been tendered which will see works beginning later this year.“The contract for the design and the redesign of it has been awarded. It’s under the PPP and the UK funding. I can’t recall who won it but the design is being done as we speak. If all goes well I would expect work to begin sometime this year but it has been awarded since last year so sometime this year we will expect work to begin,” he said.Several vendors were moved to tears in September 2018 as they were greeted by City Hall workers barricading the area. The vendors were later relocated to the route 42 Grove/Diamond minibus park where they have been functioning since earlier this year.Some of the stalls which remained unopened on Monday morningThe Council had decided at a previous statutory meeting that the vendors would have to construct their own stalls as one would cost $400,000.Former Town Clerk, Royston King had told the media that those vendors will have to spend at least two years on the bus park before the rehabilitative works at the wharf are completed.UnfeasibleMeanwhile, scores of vendors who are now plying their trades at the route 42 bus park are calling for the waterfront to be rehabilitated as soon as possible, since sales are plummeting.Speaking with Guyana Times on Monday, one vendor, Yvonne Smith said she was retailing goods at the wharf prior to the move initiated by the Georgetown Mayor and City Council.However, since the completion of the brand-new stalls, there has been a scanty population of persons who have opened their businesses. This is because of the downward spiralling of their livelihoods due to the lack of market for the goods and persons preferring to go elsewhere at the market square to purchase items.“They killing we here. I used to sell at the back by the wharf and we used to do good and now people stop coming as much as they used to. We come out here and not only the sales bad, but it get other things that we worried about,” said Smith.Her other worries referred to the state of the surroundings, which is not in keeping with that of a marketplace. Some persons were paying people to remove the garbage but it is being dumped in close proximity to the area. Adding to that, they are cleaning these environs without any water supply.“The condition of the market here is really rough. It is dirty and people sleeping here. They pay people to move the garbage and they bring it right back here. There’s no water around. We don’t have any water to wash around before we start selling so we have to pay people to bring couple buckets with water so that we can make the place look good,” Smith stated.According to Smith, the other vendors and herself were making better profits at the wharf when compared to the new location. She believes it is too clustered and many persons are not willing to enter the area.“Just a few of us come out here but now we thinking that the wharf was better and they should try to fix it because nothing is doing over there. They tell us we might be here for two year but almost a year up and nothing is being done.”Since June of 2016, it was reported that former Town Clerk Royston King had declared the commencement of works at the wharf.At that time, the budget for the complete refurbishing of the wharf was pegged at some $400 million. Over the years, over 300 merchants were situated at the wharf but this number has been reduced to just over 80.