-On Climate Change Awareness
Residents of Nyehn and Goba town in Todee district, Montserrado County were very surprise when they learned that smoke from the burning of charcoal, cutting down of trees without replanting and smoke from the usage of dry latex called telay affect the climate and the environment.
They were told to change the old method of doing things and protect their environment.
Todee district is located in upper Montserrado County where 95% of its inhabitants survive on charcoal as a means of livelihood without knowing the risk or danger associated with cutting down of trees and the making of heavy smoke.
As a result of this, over 27 houses early last year got damage due to heavy storm leaving several homeless in the district.
Against this backdrop, the Women Empowerment Program of Liberia with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in partnership with the United Nations Development Program the UNDP concluded a two day separate programs on climate change awareness from March 19 to the 20th, 2020 in Nyehn and Goba town respectively.
The Climate change awareness project is implemented by the Women Empowerment Program of Liberia with funding from GEF with support from the United Nations Development Program, UNDP.
GEF is independently operating financial organization that provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), mercury, sustainable forest management, food security, sustainable cities.
The GEF was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle the planet’s most pressing environmental problems. The GEF unites 183 countries in partnership with International Institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.
Speaking at the start of the awareness in Todee district, the Executive Director of Women Empowerment Program of Liberia Madam Veria Rogerlyn Woodson encouraged residents in both towns to protect their environment against Climate change by avoiding things that would affect the climate and the environment.
It can be recall that Liberia joined the UNFCCC in 2002 and is one of the first recipients of the Green Climate Fund and a signatory to the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement and the 2017 National Policy and Response Strategy on Climate Change will guide the country’s efforts to mitigate the risks of climate change and reduce vulnerability.
Madam Woodson wants residents avoid producing too much smoke especially when cooking using what is known as dry latex (telay) cutting of trees without replanting among others and start using what is known as connie fire starter.
“To you inhabitants of Nyehn and Goba town in Todee and Liberia at large, love yourself by protecting the land, forest and environment to avoid the risk of climate change, this is all we have and is about time that we protect it, the issue of climate change is a serious issue that needs everyone attention but we must all find another measure to limit the air pollution and stop using the dry latex, telay is not good for our health,’’ Madam Woodson explained.
She further said “The processing of turning waste into a useful product by recycling can always turn in to something good, let think out of the box and be creative and help fight climate change through the means of 3rs, reuse, reduce and recycle,’’ she noted.
Meanwhile, the Women chairperson of Todee District Madam Kluo Dorkago thanked the Women Empowerment Program of Liberia and GEF for the awareness in the district.
Madam Dorkago however called on the group to extend the awareness from door to doors across the district and have others inform about the danger and risk of climate change.
“We the residents especially women, we are appealing to you, please talk to your partners to help us we want to learn how to product the connie fire starter,’’ she pleaded.
For his part, the Commissioner of Tolbert Town, Daniel SK Pabic praised the Organizers for the program and for choosing Todee district.
Commissioner Pabic noted that the issue of illegal cutting down of trees for charcoal production is on the increase in the district, something he said is affecting the district.
“This program is very good but what I want your do for us is that, please invite all the land owners, the youth who are involved, the commissioners and the district leaders to a forum like this and educate us. We can sleep at night the smoke is all over around us, the heat is also giving us hard time. Please help us we have talk and tired now,” he lamented.
Speaking on behalf of the youth, the acting youth chair of Todee district, King W. Sahn welcomes the initiative and promised young people cooperation in helping the organization carryout the awareness of climate change.
Alphonso has been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.