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Development Without Impact: The Sad Story Of ‘White Elephant’ CSDF Projects Across G/Cape Mount County

Grand Cape Mount County Superintendent Aaron B. Vincent has revealed that there are several development projects completed in Grand Cape Mount County that are not in use or functional.

Superintendent Vincent who was inducted into office on June 29, 2018 following his appointment by President George Manneh Weah said it is discouraging for the county to use thousands of United States Dollars to implement development projects with no direct impact on the lives of the citizens.

“We cannot continue to spend more money to construct clinics when our citizens do not have quality healthcare delivery Superintendent Vincent declared”.

Vincent, who also served as Representative of Electoral District#1 of Grand Cape Mount in the 53rd Legislature named the Varcanway Clinic, Sewu Health Center, Damballa Health Center, Butter Hill Clinic, Gordor Town Clinic and Jajah Clinic as some projects completed, but not being used.

The Chief Administrator of the County in an exclusive interview with our reporter on June 19, 2019 put the cost of the projects at a little over six hundred thousand United States Dollars.

He noted that all these projects which were approved during the 2015 County Sitting during the regime of then Superintendent Tenneh Simpson Kpadebah were funded through the County Social Development Fund (CSDF).

The Grand Cape Mount County Superintendent has at the same time announced that the county will not continue to implement or build clinics in the absent of qualified health workers.

Moreover, Vincent has said that his leadership is only considering the completion of the ongoing Superintendent Compound project located in Robertsport City, Tombey Chiefdom which will be hosting him as head of the county.

He lamented “Cape Mount is the only county that does not have a superintendent compound completed.”

According to him, the ongoing Superintendent Compound project is valued at US$329,448.17.

Meanwhile, citizens of Jajah Town have expressed regret over failure of the Ministry of Health to assign health workers at the clinic.

According to them, it is painful that portion of their CSDF money was used to implement a clinic project but not impacting inhabitants of the area.

Speaking on behalf of the citizens over the weekend a youth of the area Mohammed Fahnbulleh told our reporter that despite the completion of the health project since 2017 residents of the town are still finding it difficult to seek medical attention.

“Whenever we are sick, we usually walk about forty five minutes or more either to Kpeneji or Sinje Health Center to get medication; which is very hard during this rainy season Fahnbulleh noted”.

“We are asking President George Weah administration to intervene quickly in order to find solution to the health situation citizens are facing in the area,’’ Fahnbulleh concluded”.

It can be recalled; during an exclusive interview with our reporter in 2017 Former Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn during whose tenure the clinic was built said the problem at Sewu Clinic and many other health facilities in the county stems from politicians’ failure to comply with the ministry’s health plan.

“We have a national health plan that identifies where we need health facilities, but politicians because of votes, will not follow our plans,’’ Dr. Dahn said. ‘They will build infrastructures where we don’t need them. The infrastructure also comes with planning with the human resources that will manage the health facilities.’’

Politicians, she said, need to consult with the ministry of health before embarking on clinic projects that will eventually embarrass them and their communities.

Dr. Francis Kateh, Liberia’s chief medical officer, also confirmed that the community built the clinic without consulting the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Kateh said he visited Sewu Clinic in 2016 and determined that the community was too small to have a clinic, and so it’s not reflected in the government’s health plan “Sewu itself is a very small community, so if you just go there and see the clinic, you would think why a clinic was built in this place,’’he said.

Despite his concerns, Kateh promised to work with county officials and other stakeholders to see how the ministry can deploy staff and medical supplies. But he admitted that the government lacks adequate resources to run health care centers around the country.

Meanwhile, the head of the civil society organization in Grand Cape Mount County Alex Balo said it very frustrating for the county to spent huge sum of money and implement projects that are not having direct impact on the lives of the citizens.

Mr. Balo described the non-functional state of the health facilities as total waste of resources on the part of the county authorities.

“Not only the clinic in Jajah but we also have a clinic in Sewu and other   parts of the county that are not being use by the citizens due to the lack of qualified health practitioners Balo noted”.

He attributed the situation to the lack of consultation with Health Ministry authorities.

“There should be an interaction between the citizens and health authorities before coming up with these projects because they know where clinics are needed, but actually that was not the case here Mr. asserted”.

At the same time, the Grand Cape Mount CSOs Head has called on the Liberian Government to quickly intervene into the matter.

Contributed By   James M. Karimu-  0775537092/0886277651/Email  jkarimu29@gmail.com  

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