Pres. Sirleaf Freezes LTA Account

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has frozen the accounts of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority, (LTA) headed by Angelique Weeks.The Liberian leader also suspended the US$1 million lease agreement between LTA and a Chinese construction company, Qinjian International, for a building LTA intended to secure as office. President Sirleaf took the decision to freeze the account of the LTA on Tuesday February 4, 2014Though the release from the Executive Mansion indicates that the LTA “intends” to secure the building as office space, credible sources have it that LTA has indeed relocated its offices to where they are paying a steeper figure in the range of $385,000 per year for the lease of the property.Sources said that consolidating all their employees in one location rather than three or four, cuts down on the number of security personnel; the cost of generator and fuel at the previous premises.The building in question is located on the Congo Town back road, around the Chinese Embassy. The LTA last week left its 12th street headquarters and relocated in the Congo Town area, a move that may have been done without the consent of the Liberian leader.The process of leasing the building, it is strongly believed, was approved by the Public Procurement Concessions Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice, but the President might have preferred being informed of the move.The Finance Ministry, according to one source, was fully involved with the lease-agreement, as it had to approve the expenditure. The Justice Ministry was involved as well, since the lease involved a private party and a government entity.  “The PPCC had been on board from the beginning, to make sure we followed procedures as stipulated in the guidelines.  We have no problem renting from legitimate landlords who pay taxes to government, the source said.The LTA earlier had leased three buildings at three different locations, prior to its last-week move.  While not cheap, the new location allows the LTA to foster greater unity among employees and provide an excellent area for the International Gateway Monitoring System that takes up an entire floor.It was indicated that the West Africa Regional Communications Project was also relocating to the site in March. “The cost of the move was budgeted and approved in our 2013-2014 budget.We have been very transparent about this whole procedure pursuant to the PPCC Act.  We looked at other buildings and considered other locations before the final choice was made,” a source said.Asked why the LTA does not just purchase a building or buy and build, we were told that they intend to find a location that will allow them to accommodate their growing staff, as well as for Spectrum Monitoring equipment.  ‘We would prefer to build but we have to find the right location to allow for expansion and growth.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

The Constitution in Braille: A Revolutionary Idea Long Overdue

first_imgLiberia’s blind have called on government to produce the Liberian Constitution in Braille so that they will have the opportunity to read it.Braille is a series of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind or whose eyesight is not sufficient for reading printed material.In their frank exchange with the CRC last week, representatives of the blind and visually impaired lamented, “Considering the way we are treated, we don’t feel as though we are part of this country.”We consider this a serious indictment of the way we do things in Liberia. The CRC’s mandate is to include ALL citizens of Liberia.The representatives told the CRC, “Now is the time to reflect on treatment of the blind and visually impaired by providing them with copies of the nation’s most important document in Braille. It is just as important for us to read as it is for those with sight.”We pray that the CRC will pay keen and active attention to this community, which in Liberia number at least 35,000, or one percent of the population.  According to recent statistics, three percent of our people are visually impaired.These are significant numbers of people that must be included not only in the constitutional review process, but in the broader spectrum of national affairs.  Their exclusion is unconstitutional, since the Constitution, the basic law of the land and the nation’s most important document, is what guides citizens as they participate in the process of governance.  A citizen’s knowledge of the Constitution empowers him or her to play a more effective and more meaningful role in national affairs and hopefully makes a better citizen.The CRC is, therefore, called to recommend immediately to government the production of the Constitution in Braille, even as the Committee continues its work.  This will enable the blind and visually impaired to participate NOW, while the Review process is ongoing.  GOL could contact the Braille Institute of America, based in Los Angeles, California, or other Braille institutions in neighboring countries or in Europe, for advice and assistance. Perhaps one of development partners interested in the constitutional review process could be approached to assist in this endeavor.But the CRC should not wait, as time is of the essence.  The year 2015, when the CRC should be completing its work, is now only months away.  If the CRC is proactive and swift, treating this matter with urgency, the Constitution in Braille should be ready within the next three months and placed in the hands of these citizens.Another matter of urgency which, not just the CRC but more so the national government should immediately address is the matter of access to buildings for our physically challenged people.For too long, these unfortunate brothers and sisters of ours have complained about access, especially to public buildings and educational institutions.  The time is long past when we as a nation should DO something about this problem, by reaching out to these people and giving them access to places they need to go.The government will, hopefully soon, begin renovating the E.J. Roye and completing other unfinished buildings.  In this process, the physically challenged should be remembered.  Architects and engineers involved in the renovation and construction need to visit the Japanese Friendship Hospital at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center and see what has been done there giving complete access to pregnant mothers and other people in peculiar circumstances. The government also needs to put in place mandatory measures to ensure the efficient maintenance of elevators in buildings that have them. For example, when last did anyone–even the Ministers whose office was on the sixth floor–use the elevators in the old Ministry of Education on Broad Street?That building was totally off limits to our physically challenged, many of whom are teachers.We hope government will act NOW to protect access of ALL the people to buildings in Liberia, most especially government ones.  GOL should make it mandatory that BEFORE a construction permit is given for ANY building now or in the future, access by the physically challenged should be assured.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

CBL Begins Developing Collateral Registry

first_imgThe government of Liberia through the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has begun the development of a Secured Transactions/Collateral Registry program in the country.The registry, which is purely an electronic program, is expected to be formally inaugurated in June this year, to register movable assets that debtors would want to put forth as collateral to lenders.It is being developed by the CBL with technical support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to enhance increase financial access to small medium enterprises (SMEs) that do not have the type of collateral required by banks to access loan.Speaking at a one-day stakeholders meeting with economic journalists in Monrovia on Friday, the head of the Registry, Mrs. Euphemia Gbadee Teeta Swen Monmia, said the registry will be seated at the CBL and will allow users to access information online in real time. She declared that the CBL will set up computer facilities at key stations across the country to allow businesses and ordinary people to learn about the program and make decision.Giving some details about the registry, the registrar noted that the secured transaction registry will create opportunity for debtors to use their movable assets such as cars, equipments and other household and agricultural materials as collaterals in order to access loans for their businesses.“Some of the benefits of the registry are that it increases access to credit and reduces risk of credit, reduces cost of credit, promotes credit diversification and increases market competition,” Mrs. Monmia added.She stressed that the role of the registry will be to primarily register debtors’ movable collaterals so that lenders are able to easily access those assets and to ensure that the same assets are not offered as collateral to other lenders.Mrs. Monmia noted that the establishment of the collateral registry is part of the mandate of the CBL as enshrined in the Central Bank of Liberia Act of 1999, and specifically consistent with Section 55 of said CBL Act of 1999 and Section 39 of the Financial Institutions Act of 1999.She declared that the establishment of the registry is also pursuant to Chapter 5 of the Liberian Commercial Code.Also speaking, Deputy CBL Executive Governor for Economic Policy Boimah Kamara observed that the collateral registry is a new business model being introduced in Liberia that would enhance financial access to businesses and bring transparency between the borrowers and lenders.“This exercise is intended to bring transparency between borrowers and lenders. For example, you can’t take a loan from bank ‘A’ and use the same collateral to borrow from bank ‘B’. But, the movable assets will be registered in the system for all of its users to see,” said Mr. Kamara.Some of the movable assets the collateral registry will registered include bank accounts, account receivables, vehicles and equipment for industrial use, agricultural products such as crops and livestock, consumer and household goods and inventory and raw goods, amongst others.Immovable assets such as land and real estate buildings will not be captured in the registry as they are mainly required by banks as collateral for loans, the registrar said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GuySuCo spent $1M on meals

first_imgDear Editor,The GAWU, through a usually reliable source, has learnt that Uitvlugt Estate during 2018 expended well over a million dollars on meals provided to visitors to the estate. Those visitors, we understand, are mainly personnel from the corporation’s head office. It, therefore, would mean that over 1000 meals would have been prepared last year, assuming that a meal costs $1000. If that is the case, it would mean that the estate had about three visitors every day of the year. This is incredible and incredulous at the same time.If the information that has reached the Union’s hands is indeed accurate then it is cause for great concern regarding the administration of the industry’s finances. At this time, as the workers well know, the corporation has relied on the excuse of lack of finance to deny, over and over, justifiable requests for improvements in working conditions and benefits.GAWU, on several occasions, has expressed concern about the management of the industry’s finances. Previously, we pointed to the hefty sums going to what the corporation deems it’s Key Managerial Personnel. On this matter, we noted, from the most recent data available, that sums going to this group of the State-owned enterprise’s top-echelon almost doubled between 2015 and 2016. We know too that the industry invested $61 million into its seed paddy project at Wales but realised only $9 million in income, in other words, it realised a loss of $52 million. It also came to our attention that the corporation spent nearly $58 million on a feasibility study for aquaculture and not one fish was harvested. With such expenditure seemingly becoming a feature of the corporation, it was not surprising when we saw that the corporation’s head office cost rose from 9 per cent of total costs in 2017 to over 14 per cent of total costs at the end of September 2018.This sort of expenditure is coming at the same time that the corporation is telling the public that it needs investment in the fields and factories. Moreover, we see such expenditures taking place when the industry’s workers, whom the corporation describes as its most important assets, being denied a pay rise since 2015 and have had several important benefits suspended and ignored.To say that the Union is disheartened by the most recent revelation is to say the least. Undoubtedly, at this time, when workers are having a most difficult time to make ends meet it is upsetting that such disturbing news is coming to light.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img read more

Should President have met GECOM?

first_imgDear Editor,On your news item on the President meeting GECOM (GT Aug 9), it is noted that GECOM is an independent agency that is not subjected to the dictates of Government (and by extension the official Opposition) although four of its seven members are appointed by the Government (President) and three by the Opposition. Not surprisingly, a lot of eyebrows were raised when the President invited GECOM members and the body’s CEO for a consultation (meeting) in his office. This is highly unusual. It may be the first such meet by GECOM in the country’s history. Many, particularly lawyers and academics, felt it was inappropriate for the Executive to meet with GECOM. Even ordinary business people and ordinary folks I spoke with felt it is not the President’s responsibility to meet with GECOM.The Executive meeting with GECOM was seen as “intimidating the body” towards election objectives especially when the body has begun preparations for elections. But the President explained that his meeting was simply to assure GECOM that the Government is willing to provide the necessary resources for the preparation of elections that are due as a result of the successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion against his Administration. The President assured that his Government would not hinder the work of the Elections Commission, and he also stated he would respect decisions of the body. The President also called on all Guyanese to respect the independence of GECOM and its decisions. One Commissioner is reported to have described the meeting as a waste of time. The public is divided on the meeting on party loyalty with some supporting the President meeting GECOM and the others opposed to the meeting. GECOM must never be seen to be compromised.The President and his coalition Government partners say they want House-to-House Registration in preparation of a new voters’ list, but he said he would accept the decision of GECOM (really the new Chairwoman Ret’d Justice Claudette Singh) on the issue.However, there is one problem on the President’s position on a date for election. The President has insisted that he would not call (announce a date for) elections unless GECOM tells him it is ready for elections. And GECOM insists that a date is the prerogative of the President. GECOM does not have a constitutional date to set a date for elections. Even lawyers for GECOM and the Attorney General are in agreement that GECOM cannot fix a date for elections. The procedure is the President fixes a date in accordance with the laws laid down in the Constitution. Whatever date the President proposes, GECOM would respond and inform the Chief Executive if it can pull off credible elections by that date. In 2001, GECOM informed the President that elections were not possible on a proposed date and it was adjusted upon agreement by all parties.GECOM usually needs three months to prepare for an election. The Constitution also caters for three months as indicated in the Article relating to the successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion. Thus, GECOM must be in perennial preparation for elections just in case a Government loses a No-Confidence Motion. In fact, every country with a parliamentary system is always prepared for elections with a month’s notice. The body may need less time to update the voters’ list that was used last November for local elections.GECOM’s hands are tied on House-to-House Registration until the court rules on August 14. GECOM meets on August 15 to review the court’s ruling. GECOM is likely to accept the ruling. Justice Claudette would not want to defy the court’s or the CCJ’s ruling using September 18 as a deadline for elections even though it is impractical.The court does not have too much wiggle room on the issue of registration and an election date. The law does not cater for House-to-House Registration in light of the No-Confidence Motion in which elections are constitutionally due by September 18 as interpreted by our country’s highest court, the CCJ. That ruling supersedes all other decisions made by Gecom or lower courts or the Government. The CCJ’s ruling is the final law that cannot be reversed or defied in a democracy.Will the High Court (Justice Roxane George) thread into the request of the Opposition on powers of the Executive to resign, dissolve the assembly, and fix a date for elections? The court is an independent branch of the Government and can’t thread into the powers of the presidency. The court can only interpret the law as indeed the CCJ did. The court is likely to repeat the judgment of the CCJ for the Executive to follow the Constitution which states the Government resigns and serve in a caretaker role as is the norm in any country where a Government lost a No-Confidence Motion.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

Two Journalists Engage in Bloody Fist Fight

first_imgTwo Liberian journalists drew attention in Tubmanburg on May 4 when they got engaged in a fist fight that left one of them with serious facial injuries.The fighting began when the Ministry of Information bus that transported journalists to and from Bopolu in Gbarpolu County made a stop in Tubmanburg for those on board to buy food.Eye-witnesses, who saw the two Liberian journalists at the back of the vehicle, said Kpadeh Smith of the Liberian Express Newspaper, who was under alcoholic influence, was the first to assault Moses Garzeawu of the Liberia Broadcasting Corporation (LBS) while he (Garzeawu) was eating bread and drinking a bottle of soft drink.Garzeawu, gravely agitated by the alleged offense by Smith, retaliated with punches, following which blood began oozing from Smith’s face.The president of the Reporters Association of Liberia, Mr. Keith Morris, along with other journalists, took Smith to a nearby drug store where he was treated. Following the incident, Peter Fahn of the New Liberia newspaper reported the case to the Liberian National Police in Bomi County, and  Garzeawu was temporarily arrested and detained for a few hours.When the fight first began, both parties were separated by their colleagues in order to avoid what eventually took place.While Smith was clearly under the influence of alcohol, it was not immediately clear whether or not Garzeawu was as well; some who were close by said he was also under intoxicated. Smith was observed by journalists on board to be under such high influence of alcohol that he could not move by himself without assistance.After the indoor and outdoor activities of every retreat that the Union has, journalists have always converged at a selected entertainment center, where they wine and socialize.Following the weekend’s press-related activiteis, on the night of May 3, an intoxicated Kpadeh Smith allegedly disturbed the peace at the motel where he, Moses Garzeawu and others were lodged. This angered Garzeawu, who reportedly lifted Smith from the room and laid him in the hallway. He (Smith) reportedly spent the night there.As far as reporters at the police station in Tubmanburg observed, neither Garzeawu nor Kpadeh gave a statement about the incident.However, police, having high regard for the Journalism profession and its practitioners, reportedly resolved the problem and asked all parties involved to forgo the dispute and return to Monrovia.Prior to that resolution, nonetheless, journalists who converged at the police station made the environment very noisy and uneasy for the officers to perform their duty.The journalists were in divided groups; they accused and insulted one another as police tried to establish the facts surrounding the incident.Even though a journalist is not restricted under the code of ethics from taking in alcohol, it is considered unethical for a journalist to be under the influence of alcohol in the discharge of his/her duty in the public and to carry out physical assaults.The leadership of the Press Union of Liberia is yet to reach a decision on the recent event involving two of its members.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Talks on Dual Currency Not New to Liberia’

first_imgThe vice president for financial affairs of the University of Liberia (UL), Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh, has said that the debate over dual currency in Liberia is not anything new to the country.According to him, the dual currency argument was raised a long time ago by past leaders of this county to address the problem but no solution materialized because the government itself refused to accept the Liberian dollar.Prof. Tarpeh made the assertions yesterday at a one-day stakeholders’ roundtable discussion on the Economic & Constitutional Implications of Liberia’s Dual Currency Regime. The forum, which was attended by several leading Liberian economists, bankers, government financial experts and politicians, was organized by the   Governance Commission and the Constitution Review Committee.  It was held at the Monrovia City Hall.Among the politicians were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, and President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Armah Zolu Jallah.The purpose of the roundtable, according to Governance Commission Chair, Dr. Amos Sawyer, was to illuminate the monetary and related fiscal issues having to do with challenges faced by the citizens whose worsening plight could be alleviated through constitutional amendments.The urgency of the forum, said Dr. Sawyer, came out of nationwide consultations by the Constitution Review Committee (CRC), headed by Counselor Gloria Scott, during which a cross-section of Liberians expressed grave concern about the dual currency.  They said the dual currency, which means the use of the Liberian and United States dollars, was seriously hurting them.  In the view of the vast majority of Liberians, said the CRC, “only the Liberian dollar should be used in local business transactions.”  This view was consistently expressed in all 73 constituency districts across the country by 69.32 percent of those who participated in town and district level meetings.“It also emerged,” said Dr. Sawyer, “that Liberian businesspeople who are constrained to sell their wares for Liberian dollars, largely due to the nature of the clientele they serve, find fluctuating exchange rates combined with weak institutional mediatory mechanisms that leave such businesspeople at the mercy of importers and wholesalers.  When the transaction costs are considered, the Governance Commission Chair explained, “doing business, for them, becomes far more risky and far less profitable than it is for others.” Professor Tarpeh, in his intervention, said the constitution provides enough flexibility for management of the economy to be conducted by the people.He further suggested that if the dual currency should be used, Liberians need to accept the Liberia dollar and use it as the currency of choice.Should the Liberian dollar be accepted by all, it will create an opportunity to promote economic growth and discipline in the country.One of the key ways to accelerate the potency or strength of the Liberian dollar, said Professor Tarpeh, is to require all businesspeople, including all concessions to pay their taxes in Liberian dollars.  This would immediately lower the rate of exchange and probably bring the value of the United States dollar to as low as 20 Liberian dollars. Earlier, Senate President Pro-tempore Armah Jallah admitted that the current government payroll for senior officials is in both Liberian dollar and United States dollar components.If the issue of dual currency should be addressed in Liberia, it must be through the constitution, said Sen. Jallah, describing it as the best alternative for Liberia’s economy.Taking into consideration some intangible benefits, Sen. Jallah said there should be empowerment of small and medium size business owners who operate exchange bureaus, with all taxes levied from all institutions exchanging money going back to government.Policy makers should not only seek to practice fiscal discipline, but government must closely monitor the level of dollarization, with data on dollarization calculated and published by the Central Bank of Liberia.Sen. Jallah recommended a single currency regime in Liberia’s fiscal policy through the appropriate legislation to strengthen the nation’s economy and empower Liberia’s small and medium businesses in order to lift up the country’s middle class.The president of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, Francis A. Dennis, said the issue of pursuing the policy of a single currency has to be approached very carefully, especially since Liberia is an import-dependent country that needs strong foreign currency, such as the US dollar to buy from abroad.  The answer to this, he declared, is to produce more goods, especially agriculturally, that we could sell abroad.  Mr. Dennis also argued that Liberians should take greater advantage of the benefit the Americans have given African countries by enabling them to export their goods to the USA “duty free.”  Other countries, including Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, are taking advantage of this opportunity, and so should Liberia.For his part, the Daily Observer publisher and managing director, Kenneth Y. Best, said Liberia’s economy is predominantly in the hands of foreigners, which is hampering the growth of Liberian businesses. “As long as Liberians are not in business in a serious way, they will continue to live in poverty in their own country,” he declared. Mr. Best lamented that the Business College at the University of Liberia, like business colleges in all our universities, “do not teach marketing or import and export.  So how can Liberian businesspeople ever learn to import their own merchandize when they have never been taught that?  And yet, so long as they continue to depend on foreign importers, so long will Liberian businesspeople remain at the short end of the stick.”Mr. Best further lamented that many of the speakers at yesterday’s forum were talking of a “gradual approach” to a single currency.  The Observer publisher recalled that in 1973 the identical discussion on the currency issue was held in the auditorium of the University of Liberia.  He recalled that during that conference, Harry L. Morris, then Liberia’s richest man because he owned the largest single rubber farm in the world owned by one man, cried when the issue of a Liberian dollar currency was raised.  He wanted Liberia to remain in the US dollar regime.Professor Wilson Tarpeh said he was only a high school student then, but he vividly remembered that conference.  After that,  he recalled, the government led by Finance Minister Steve Tolbert, and one his  close associates, now President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Romeo Horton, former Commerce Minister and founder of the Bank of Liberia, produced a document calling for a single currency within a few years.  They also proposed the maximization of agricultural production so that Liberia would start feeding itself in rice and other produce and limit the amount of foreign exchange we spend on food.This policy, said Prof. Tarpeh, remained on course even after the 1980 coup because even the military government saw wisdom in it. During that period the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation (LPMC) was in full swing, buying produce from farmers, whose cooperatives in Lofa, Bong and Nimba Counties were booming and Liberia was exporting tens of millions of US dollars of produce abroad. The Agriculture Bank vibrantly helped to fund all this, Tarpeh said.  But somehow Liberia lost its way, he lamented; and here we are today, over 40 years since that 1973 conference on currency, still “talking about talks of a single currency.”Mr. Best stressed the need for Liberians to start producing their staple food, rice, and that would cut out nearly 75% of what we spend just on food imports alone. “This is why we need to empower the agriculture sector and small businesses as major components of resolving once and for all this dual currency crisis,” he added.The president of the Liberia Marketing Association, Madam Lusu Sloan, said the Liberian marketers were at a very serious disadvantage having to pay US dollars for most of the imported goods they sell. Most  of the time, she said, foreign importers demand only US dollars for their goods, or unbearable exchange rates if the marketers must pay in Liberian dollars.  “This puts us at a very serious disadvantage,” she said, “and makes our businesses mostly unprofitable.  And this keeps us living below the poverty line.”Advent of the Eco in 2020The ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia, in brief remarks, said Liberia was the only ECOWAS country still using a dual currency.  He urged the country to make a decision one way or the other; and hinted that if it did not, it would have to wait until 2020, when the Eco, the ECOWAS single currency will start being used by all ECOWAS nations, just as the Euro is being used in most parts of Europe.The high level roundtable was also attended by Commerce and Industry Minister Axel Addy.  The roundtable was moderated by Boimah Kamara, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, on behalf of CBL Executive Governor, Dr. J. Mills Jones.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

LIBA Boss Wants Liberians to Take Control of Economy

first_imgThe President of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), Dee Maxwell Kemayah, has admonished Liberians to take ownership of their economy in order to make Liberia a middle income country by 2030.Kemayah said though he welcomes foreign direct investments or foreigners participating in the economy, Liberians must be at the core of their economy because they are the owners of the country’s natural resources.He warned that if this is not done, Vision 2030, which was crafted to create a middle-income Liberia, will not be actualized, adding: “There is no country in the world that can enhance economic growth without empowering its citizens.” Mr. Kemayah made the call in Gbarnga recently during the constitutional review meeting, organized by the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) to the amend portions of the 1986 Constitution.He believes that the continuous dominance of the Liberian economy by foreigners, “is seriously strangulating growth and development” urging delegates to vote in favor of the proposition to bring sanity to the economy.Kemayah observed that the only empowerment for Liberian businesses in recent times is the loan scheme initiated by Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), which has been criticized and condemned by some individuals in the public sector.He called on policy-makers and other stakeholders to buttress the effort of the CBL by empowering Liberian businesses to ensure that they have a stake in the economy to benefit from its wealth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Three Drown in Nimba

first_imgThree young boys were on September 23 drowned when their canoe loaded with two motorcycles capsized while crossing the Yar Creek in the Wea Gbehyi Administrative District in Nimba County.According to an eyewitness, the boys were five in number, but two were rescued. The three boys were reportedly contracted by unidentified rubber buyers to haul their rubber across Yar Creek.“While crossing the creek, one of the boys sat on one of the motorcycles on board the canoe causing the canoe to capsize,” the eye-witness said.Two of the victims hailed from Gbeyi Nyenyee and Gbeyi Tengbein Towns, Gbeyi Chiefdom, while another hailed from Saclepea. Up to press time last night, no family member had come forward to claim or identify the victims.They were however buried over the weekend.This year’s rainy season has caused rivers and creeks across Nimba to overflow, heavily flooding and destroying many farms, according to residents.Yar Creek is one of the biggest in Nimba County. It runs from Mount Nimba in the north and enters the St. John River between Nimba and Bong County in theZoewenta Forest.Residents recall that a few years ago, several children drowned in the creek where they had gone to wash and swim.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more