President Johnson Sirleaf Visits Flood Victims--Expresses Regret Over Disaster

Monday, 15th June 2009
Members of the Press:
I would like to welcome you to another Executive Mansion press briefing session.

•    Let me first of all extend, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, our profound regret for the displacement and loss of property to our citizens, caused by flooding in several parts of the city. A number of our citizens and other residents in some parts of Monrovia and its outskirts were rendered homeless as a result of floods which affected some communities over the weekend.

The President over the weekend visited the flood victims and identified with them by providing food items and other essentials to help them cope with the disaster.

The President has instructed the National Disaster Relief Commission to take all necessary measures to provide assistance to help those who have been affected by this natural disaster.
We have been informed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which hosts the Secretariat of the Commission, that several measures have already been taken to assist the flood victims, who total about 600.

The Commission has provided several items including food, blankets, tarpaulin, and rain boots, among others, to assist the flood victims, who have been temporarily housed at the Omega Warehouse in Paynesville.

The President commends the Commission, including the Liberian National Red Cross, for responding expeditiously to the plight of the displaced flood victims.

President Johnson Sirleaf is again cautioning residents about the dangers of erecting structures in wet/ low lands. Climate change is taking its toll on all countries, and should serve as a wake-up call to our people to desist from erecting structures in low and wetlands.  

The Government will continue to do its part to respond to the needs of its people under these unfortunate circumstances. Our citizens must, however, help Government by adhering to the zoning laws of the country and avoid building in areas not approved by Government.

•    The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Ethel Davis, as you may have already heard, resigned over the weekend because of the recent alleged fraud at the Central Bank regarding the transfer of more than USD$1 million.

The President welcomes the decision of the Board of Governors of the Bank to accept Ms. Davis' resignation. She believes that ongoing investigations by the relevant agencies of Government into the scandal will eventually reveal all the facts surrounding the fraud.

Four of the alleged accomplices, as we informed you last week, are now in detention awaiting court trial, while three others connected to the fraud have been charged but released on bail. While the CBL Board found Ms. Davis not to be culpable in the fraudulent transaction, her resignation will provide the investigating authorities the freehand to get to the bottom of the alleged fraud.

•    The President welcomes the convening in Virginia this week of a week-long National Reconciliation Conference.  She believes the Conference will provide Liberians an ideal platform to freely discuss the Liberian conflict in order to reach a consensus about obtaining peace and national reconciliation.