“So today in the 2022 budget, the government appropriated one million United States Dollars for our people to clean the beaches and waterways. We will now have a different name for that program, but it will be the same work that they will be doing. So my team has developed a concept note to go by unlike the first one,” Youth and Sports Minister Dester Zeongar Wilson disclosed.
It can be recalled that in January of this year, the GoL through the Ministry of Youth and Sports terminated the Beaches and Waterways Project following series of protest actions by workers of the Beaches and Waterways Project in demand of salary arrears they claimed that the GL owes them for 21 months.
Making the disclosure on Ok FM on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, Youth and Sports Minister Wilson further disclosed that the decision to reactivate the program is based on President Manneh Weah’s Pro- Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), which, according to him, is intended to uplift the down trodden masses out of poverty.
According to him, US$1million has been allocated in the national budget to resume the program early next year, but with different name and supervision so as enable the smooth operation of the program void of politics and dishonesty.
Unlike the previous project, the Youth and Sports Minister, stated the new program will mainly target youths and underprivileged people to be selected from slum communities.
“One of the things we didn’t do was to have a thorough review on the project to understand its working, we didn’t do that so the coordinators had like a free hand and brought people on the program and let people go, that should not have been the case. Also there was political pressure coming from other communities on them too that they just put people on the program. Over 2,000 plus unauthorized people were put on the project,” the Youth and Sports Minister asserted.
“The thing is that I will be the first to admit that when the project was starting, it didn’t start on a good footing. When we came, we also made our own mistakes and the project became overly political. There were too many violence coming from the project and we thought it was unacceptable.
Our job is not to make popular decision, so the decision to determinate the project was in the right decision, however, we still believe that the vision of this President is to uplift our downtrodden brothers and sisters, people in slum communities and that is why we have engage the Finance Ministry and say look, we need to continue this program but on a different name and Minister of Finance and Development Planning(MFDP) Samual D. Tweah and our team have all agreed that it was necessary,” he continued.
He mentioned that in continuation of the project, the ministry has instituted many measures that will make them get their salary on time as they work.
“Prior to the project, we didn’t have our human resource department involve but this time, the program will be monitored by our M&E people. Clearly define procedures of when they will sign in and get their pay on time. We want this program run smoothly without disruption. This time, as they work, they will be pay monthly. We are talking about 1,028 Liberians to benefit,” he added.