British Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet has described as “remarkable,” the United Kingdom’s impact on the lives of Liberians in the post-war era.Ambassador Cochrane-Dyet took over the British Embassy in Liberia on October 14, 2013, when it was reopened after being closed for 22 years.In an interview with journalists following a trip in Tubmanburg, Bomi County on January 23, 2014, Ambassador Cochrane-Dyet said, “It was important for me as a diplomat to get out of Monrovia to go into the counties so we can see the situation on the ground ourselves. It is important that we come here because the United Kingdom (UK) has an aid program here, which costs about US$15 million.”He said that the United Kingdom also contributes to the operations of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to the tune of US$42 million, including Europe-Aid, which is approximately US$250 million.He said that UK’s development assistance comes to the government, citing the Buchanan road project completed about a year and a half ago, as one of the projects his country contributed to.The UK, Ambassador Cochrane-Dyet explained, contributes to the works of UNHCR, UNDP, and other UN agencies in Liberia, as well; so, to maintain a clear picture of unfolding events as to how aid sent here is impacting Liberians, he has to get out in the field.During the trip to Bomi, the British Ambassador visited the Superintendent’s office, the Scottish-based aid program, Mary’s Meals, and the residence of Rev. Fth. Gareth Jenkins, Priest of St. Dominic Catholic Mission in Tubmanburg.Sharing his impression about the trip, Ambassador Cochrane-Dyet said he was glad for the impact Mary’s Meals is making in the lives of ordinary people, especially students of various schools, including the deaf in Bomi, Gbarpolu and Cape Mount.Mary’s Meals is a school feeding program catering to schools in Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties.Thousands of students in these counties are fed by Mary’s Meals with rice and beans in their various schools; that, according to the Assistant Country Director, Joseph Flomo Goelo, is immensely helping to keep the students in schools amid hunger.Mary’s Meals also caters for 79 deaf students who live on the dormitory prepared by the organization. They are undergoing both academic and vocational skills training program including tailoring, carpentry and agriculture.Earlier, Bomi County Samuel Brown stated that though the county has fertile soil that could produce more food, citizens of the county heavily depend on imported rice and locally produced food stuff from Duala Market in Montserrado County for feeding.Impressed by the output of the deaf students couple with project proposals submitted by the Oscar Romero School (Home of Mary’s Meals), the Ambassador said that they at the British Embassy, were going to discuss and come out with whatever assistance they can render to complement the effort being made to help such disadvantaged Liberians.He lauded the UK humanitarian organization for its work in Bomi and said the success is gained mainly because Liberians themselves were demonstrating patriotism through commitment to the job.Ambassador Cochrane-Dyet did not comment on what was discussed behind close door with Catholic Priest Gareth Jenkins. He toured the Catholic compound and visited the mass grave of about 300 children who died from starvation in Tubmanburg when that area was being controlled by defunct rebel group, ULIMO-J of deceased Roosevelt Johnson.It is not also clear what Ambassador Cochrane-Dyet and Bomi County Superintendent, Samuel Brown, discussed behind closed door as Journalists were asked out.However, Superintendent Brown had earlier underscored initiation of girls in the Sande Society as one key challenge facing the county in terms of youth education.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The quarantined area at the GPHC where the sick miners were being treatedThe sick undiagnosed Chinese miners attached to Guyana Manganese Inc (GMI) left Guyana on Monday for China. The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation’s (GPHC) ambulance was escorted by Police to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) where the ill miners accompanied by medical practitioners will board the Chinese air ambulance which arrived in Guyana on Saturday.A well-placed source at the GPHC had told this newspaper that doctors are of the view that the miners are not infected with Leptospirosis since their symptoms are not consistent with this disease but they still believe that the illness is similar to H1N1. The source noted that as a result, a decision was taken to take the men back home to China.Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud on Monday when contacted told Guyana Times said that he along with two representatives from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) are in Matthews Ridge to host meetings and a full update will be made available by the Public Health Ministry subsequent to those meetings.Regional health officials on Saturday held a public meeting with residents of Matthews Ridge, North West District (NWD), to update them on the current health crisis facing the GMI workers, who fell ill while working in a tunnel in the area.Present at the meeting were the region’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Karen Boyle, Regional Health Officer Dr Cerdel Mc Watt and representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).It was reported that the now evacuated patients were being treated and were responding to antibiotic and anti-fungal medicines and results from samples that were sent overseas for further evaluation are scheduled to be returned soon.Meanwhile, officials have maintained that only Chinese workers that worked in the specific tunnel are affected by the illness and no other residents of that or neighbouring villages have been infected. Further, GMI mining operations will remain closed until certain requirements are met and the company is given the green light by the EPA to resume operations.Residents of Matthews Ridge on Friday had expressed concerns over the health risks involved and are furious that health officials are not disclosing information as to the seriousness of the situation.Several residents who reached out to this newspaper said that it is time that the health authorities speak to persons living in the area since they are very worried about the situation.Two Chinese miners died as a result of Leptospirosis, a Ministry statement had said.Meanwhile, all precautionary measures are still in place at the Matthews Ridge tunnel site and its immediate surroundings, adding that essential medical supplies are in stock to treat employees of the mining firm and residents of the area.