LACE To Intensify Community Empowerment

The Executive Director of the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) has maintained that the Agency is prepared to continue to work in its three areas of strengthening community empowerment, youth employment, and enterprise development in the protected areas.

Atty. Ramses T. Kumbuyah said LACE is prepared to create 10,000 short term jobs for vulnerable youths especially in the rural areas of Liberia, and implement 225 community subprojects in the remotest parts of Liberia if the resources are provided by the Government of Liberia and/ or its development partners.

Atty. Kumbuyah speaking at the elaborate dedication ceremony in Mehnla said in addition to the Community Empowerment Project -social infrastructure, the Agency is also a catalyst in the area of social protection, employment creation for the vulnerable youths throughout Liberia.

“Over the past two years, LACE has created short term jobs for 39,000 young people in all fifteen counties of Liberia, and will create another 6,000 short term jobs for youths between now and June , 2013. Nimba County youths have benefitted from 8,000 short-term jobs under our Youth Employment Skills/CW Project during this period,” he averred.

The ten sub-projects are out of 88 subprojects completed by LACE during the calendar year 2012, comprising of schools, clinics, bridges, culverts, wells, latrines and markets. And LACE has completed 203 out of 260 subprojects nationwide.

TheLACE boss named the projects as the Mehnla, Tahnplay and Luowon Bridges; Dumpa, Duoplay/Zeanlay and Behplay # 1& 2 box culverts; while the rest are Nyonkiayee Community School, Duoplay and Tommy Village water and sanitation projects.

Atty. Kumbuyah told community people that funding for these sub-projects came from the World Bank and the European Union as grant to the Government and people of Liberia through LACE for the implementation of community driven development projects throughout Liberia; to assess their development needs communities and help them achieve those needs.

He told the audience that it was now the responsibility of the community people and local authorities to make good use of these facilities and to regularly maintain them. “LACE does not have funds to do post project maintenance. If these facilities are to serve you for a long time, then you must maintain them. LACE wouldn’t come back here to clean the water way under your bridges and culverts; or change the locks on the doors of your schools or latrines; or repair your hand pumps when the valves cuts. Taking ownership means you must invest your resources in the upkeep of these facilities,” Kumbuyah intimated.

Nimba County Superintendent Christiana Dagadu praised LACE for working along with local people to achieve great goals in the county. Madam Dagadu urged the community people to begin taking ownership of the projects if they are to truly benefit from them.

Deputy Internal Affairs, Minister Rennie Jackson, said the Ministry is now identifying all of government’s projects in the counties to make it a public knowledge of what government is doing and that Monrovia is not Liberia.

Minister Jackson said the Ministry of Internal Affairs will support the Superintendent in their development agenda. He praised the World Bank, European Union, communities and LACE for their development works in the counties.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Yarwein Mehnsonnoh District Representative, Richard M. Tingban said that the Government of Liberia was doing everything to meet the infrastructure developmental needs of the people. He praised members of the various project management committees (PMCs) and urged them to remain engaged in the development of their communities.

LACE Chairman, David Farhat cutting the ribbon to the projects said funds used for the implementation was lobbied by the Government of Liberia and therefore it deserves huge credit.