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Anyone In Liberia who decides to periscope the year 2014 would certainly agree that it was a period of a major challenge with Ebola being the foremost cause of death and near economic collapse in a country that barely realize any substantial accomplishment. All development projects, including the restructuring of the Mount Coffee Hydro dam and a number of road constructions have been placed on hold because of Ebola.
It Was A year that brought so much devastation and despair to the Liberian people in terms of the lost of human lives and the socioeconomic hardship that the disease unleashed on an already poverty stricken people. Since the 14 years civil war, there's no time in the history of our country that our people experienced such a malady. Interestingly, Ebola also exposed the serious lack of capacity on the part of the Liberia government to handle an emergency situation far beyond our reach.
Hence, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf appealed for global help to subdue the virus. Thankfully, the international community, led by the United States reacted promptly to prevent what could have been a human disaster. Even now, as the year 2014 comes to an end, this scourge (Ebola) continues to spread its tentacles in some parts of the country, defying all rigid medical norms put into place to contain the disease. During the year under review, a statement from businessman turned politician, Benioni Urey and other individuals who suggested that the government shutdown the Liberian borders due to the seriousness of the disease led to confusion between the Executive Mansion and Mr. Urey. In the end, Urey was proven right that our borders needed to be shutdown just as Senegal, Ghana and others did.
Initially, There Were doubts amongst the people about Ebola, but by the time the disease hit Monrovia, and the first group of health workers died at the Redemption Hospital, it became clearer that the “spirit of death” had entered the city. Even more profound, the demise of Dr. Brisbane (one of the country's finest medical doctors) along with a number of health practitioners sent the entire population into panic. By July, the disease had penetrated almost every part of the country, and the government decided to quarantine certain areas including the township of West Point. Residents protested their township from being quarantined. In the process, a riot ensued which resulted to the killing of 16-year-old Shakie Kamara and two others sustained serious injuries.
An Investigation Into the shooting incident found the police (not the military) liable for the boy's death even though initial report showed that the military fired the bullets that broke the leg of Shakie who died as the result of bleeding. Certainly, that was a violation of human rights because the security forces shouldn't have fired any bullet since the protesters did not exhibit any form of hostility by firing a gun shot. Anyway, the events of 2014 are behind us, especially following the election of new senators which were preceded by protest or law suit challenging the validity of having election amid the Ebola disease.
As We Are about to enter the New Year, the Government of Liberia has a responsibility to ensure that the disease is expelled so that our children can return to school within reasonable time. While we anticipate the re-opening of schools, the government must allocate resources to assist both public and private institutions to re-start academic programs.
In All, We give GOD the glory for preserving the lives of his people. We also call on the Government of Liberia to enact law that would set a day aside to remember those of our people who lost their lives to Ebola.