Some of the Ivoirien refugeesNo food ration, good medication and better education for childrenThe status of the Ivorian refugees in the Bahn Refugee Camp in Nimba County is said to be in limbo, since the United Nations High Commission for Refugees cutoff all activities in 2016.The refugees who appear very pale and distraught told the Daily Observer in the Bahn Refugees on Thursday, April 19, 2018 that their abandonment by the UNHCR and other line agencies has made their lives vulnerable and in the state of confusion, something they said have led their female children into prostitution for survival.“We have not been getting food and other supplies, since the withdrawal of the UNHCR and other agencies working in this camp in 2016,” they said.“We have been reduced to eating palm kernel and doing things out of our will for survival,” said Tuadogo Delphine, a mother of five children, who lost her husband in the Ivorian Civil War.Children cracking palm kernel for food at the campThe refugees, who number over 1000 complained of not getting the required medical attention as compared to the days when the refugees clinic in camp was still functioning.“Our medication was turned over to the government, but whenever we go to the clinic, we will be given white paper so we can go and buy the medicines from outside,” said Tai Sylvestre Bore, one block chairperson.Due to poor medical attention, a lady in the camp complained of losing her son to cancer he got from bullet wounds from the war in Ivory Coast.She said the boy’s foot was first amputated at his ankle with the help of UNHCR, but the cancer resurfaced, because of the departure of UNHCR they have no more means for advance medication, until he met demise.“The status of our children school is in limbo, no funding for higher education and those in primary session face a bleak future, because the Ivorian teachers have been sidelined and are no longer teaching the kids the Ivorian curriculum,” said Gorn Theadile, a refugee.The entire offices of the line agencies and that of UNHCR in the camp and even in Saclepea have been closed, making it very difficult to reach them.The plastic sheet used for roofing sheet for most of the houses in the camp arein deplorable condition, something that poses a threat to women and children.A blind refugee lady was seen dwelling in a dilapidated house, with one side of the house broken.Refugees expressed appointment in the UNHCR for abandoning themThe refugees explained that the UNHCR is not coming to tell them their status, whether to be repatriated, resettled elsewhere and being reintegrated into the Liberian society.“Some of us are afraid to returned home, because most of those we fled from are backed in the Ivorian Government, so we need resettlement elsewhere around the world,” acclaimed one angry refugee.“We are suffering, they cannot bring us and abandoned us like this,” shouted a young lady.“Some of the refugees are political refugees and cannot go back to home, so we are appealing to the UNHCR to come and declare our status and are also asking any well meaning organization to help us resettle elsewhere,” said Keupeu Geofray, general secretary of the camp.Arthur Gayepue, the Administrator of Bahn Health Center, where the refugees got their clinical treatment agreed for giving the patients list of drugs to buy, but not refugees alone, because, according to him there is a serious shortage of medical drugs in Nimba and the country at large.He said for several months, his entity has not received any drugs from the central government, something he said was affecting nearly all health facilities.Most of refugee dwelling places are becoming depreciatedWhen contacted the Liberia Refugees, Repatriation, Resettlement Committee/LRRRC regional office in Saclapea the administrator said he was not clothed with authority to speak and referred this reporter to the regional officer.Effort to get the view of the regional officer via mobile phone remained futile, as his phone was perpetually switched off.The LRRRC is the only agency that has office in the camp presently, according to the refugees.However, the City Mayor of Bahn Madam Angie Dopoe said the refugees are becoming burden to the citizens, because they are roaming everywhere in the villages in search of food.“We are confused, because UNHCR is not coming show us the refugees that will be integrated in the society, they just left and the people are suffering,” she said.In the same development, the refugees in the PPP Camp in Grand Gedeh County and also Maryland are said to be facing similar situations.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Based on reports of increased levels of mercury in waterways of interior regions, Government has made a further commitment to confront the issue, as Guyana will be partnering with South Africa to introduce mercury-free recovery methods in the gold mining sector as it seeks to enter commercial mining.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman has said that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) would need to partner on the mercury-free mining initiative so as to ensure that the environment and people are protected.The South African Government has expressed a willingness to share its bleach gold recovery method as a cost-effective and equally efficient means of recovering gold. A delegation who recently visited Guyana plans to take a number of Guyanese miners to South Africa to observe the gold recovery system.Guyana is among eight countries which will partner with the Conservation International/Global Environmental Facility (CI/GEF) programme, with the aim of ensuring mercury-free mining worldwide.The urgent action is needed to protect millions of men, women and children who are exposed to toxic levels of mercury through gold production every year. This is the main contention of the backers of the new $180 million programme, in seeking to reform the Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining sector (ASGM).The programme – the global opportunities for the long-term development of the ASGM sector (GEF GOLD) – aims to reduce the use of mercury in artisanal gold mining, and introduce and facilitate access to mercury-free extraction methods, while at the same time working with Governments to formalise the sector, promoting miner rights, safety and their access to markets.In addition to Guyana, the programme spans several other countries including Burkina Faso, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia, the Philippines and Peru.The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), are other partners in the programme.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said GGMC has been discussing the possibility of becoming a gold producer rather than being just a licencing and regulatory authority. This idea, if properly introduced, could help to increase profits for the company.Trotman related that Guyana may not be at that stage yet but could start with a mercury-free model, to demonstrate to the other miners not only how one can mine without mercury but also how they can mine without mercury and still be profitable.Guyana has been taking steps to eliminate the use of mercury in mining here. Several days ago, a meeting of a National Working Group (NWG) on the “Minamata Convention on Mercury” was convened at the Natural Resources Ministry’s Main Street offices in Georgetown.Guyana signed the Convention on Mercury on October 10, 2013, ratifying it on September 24, 2014. Guyana was also elected as one of the two Vice-Presidents from the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) to serve on the Bureau of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP 3).At the meeting, Policy Analyst at the Natural Resources Ministry, Mariscia Charles, said the Minamata Convention follows and builds on the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) conventions which came into force on August 16, 2017.This was the first global agreement on health and the environment for close to a decade. She reminded participants of Guyana’s participation in the plenary sessions which focused on freeing the Amazon from the impacts of mercury used in ASGM.In September 2017, President David Granger attended the inaugural Conference of Parties (COP1) in Geneva, Switzerland, where he affirmed Guyana’s position and committed to the elimination of mercury usage by 2027.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Elks Speed Skating Club will be offering an adult skating program.The program targets beginner level skaters as an introduction to the sport. This will include two coached sessions per week, with additional ice time as available.The Speed Skating Club is focusing on developing a community of adult speed skaters in a positive and low-cost environment.- Advertisement -The program will run from January 14 to the third week in March. Coached skating times will be Monday and Wednesday evenings from 8 to 9 p.m. and an uncoached session on Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m.The cost of the program is $250 and includes skate rental, on a first come first serve basis as spaces are limited. The purchase of ankle protection is required in order to participate in the program.To sign up for the adult speed skating program, you can fill out the online questionnaire.Advertisement