An Ebola task force unit (ETFU) which arrived in the Caldwell community, north of Monrovia last Monday to remove a corps abandoned the body and fled when an intense crowd began to close in on their operation. They took off in their vehicle bearing license plate number GSA MIA RL 3303 without the unidentified body and without carrying out the usual decontamination spraying of the area.It is unclear what gave the ETFU a sense of threat from the crowd. Before their departure, however, one of the volunteers declared toour reporter on the scene: “That’s the problem with Liberian people, we don’t believe the truth, and that’s why Ebola has spread like this.”According to theETF worker, who did not give his identity,another case involving the late former Miss Liberia 2009/2010,Shu-rina Wiah and her family, was not taken seriously until it was too late. “Look at the family now, the whole family is seriously sick, and even her mother is fighting for her life” the health worker revealed before leaving. He allowed our reporter to copy the plate number of their vehicle.Meanwhile news spread on Facebook the same day of the death of the late Toose’s (Shu-rina’s elder sister) son, Kelvin Kels Toure. He is said to have died at ELWA 3 MSF Ebola Treatment Center last Sunday, September 21along with his uncle, Oxford Wiah, a brother of Shu-rina.Toose was reportedly the very first in the family to die, only because, it is alleged, that the family did not take the Ebola Virus seriously. So she (Toose) was given a normal burial. Then her sister, Shu-rina, the former Miss Liberia, took ill and died two weeks later. And now it is reported that many relatives of the family are under quarantine at the ELWA center.There is yet no medical report confirmingthat Oxford, brother of Toose and sister Shu-rina, and Kelvin, son of Toose, died from Ebola. But what is evident is the fact that four members of the family, including mother and son, have all died within a short span of time.Meanwhile, the beautiful house said to have been built by the late Shu-rina in the Iron Gate community sits still, with doors and windows firmly locked. There is not a single movement within or around the house, nor can any animals be seen around the yard.Sad neighbors glance at the house as they pass by. One neighbor, Ma Bendu, who says she lives close by, is “stunned at the news of the death of the four family members”.It is said that Sieanyene Toose Yuoh- Katty, who died two weeks before her sister Shu-rina, was buried the traditional way with a funeral held on September 11, 2014 at the 1st Baptist Church Cemetery, Congo Town Back Road. Apparently no question was raised at the time concerning whether her death could have been caused by Ebola.According to news reports, there has been no Ebola occurrence at the Stryker Funeral Home, which handled Toose’s remains. Meanwhile, the sight of the Ebola team running away and abandoning an unidentified body in Caldwell the same day the news of Kel’s death was reported, has heightened the tension in the Caldwell community. It is a clear that many people are still in denial about the Ebola Virus and that the Government and all participants in the fight to eradicate Ebola have much more work to do to convince Liberians of the serious impact of the Ebola Virus.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Enmore Estate closureBy Shemuel FanfairAt year end, 2300 factory, field and cane workers currently employed at the East Demerara Estate (Enmore), along with their family members, will face an uncertain future with the impending closure of the entity.During the course of last week, Guyana Times met with some workers and villagers of Enmore, on the East Coast of Demerara, who expressed emotions of despair and sadness over the December 31, 2017 deadline for the shutting down of the long-standing factory which was in recent times, merged with the La Bonne Intention Estate to form one combined entity.Guyana Times reported in May that ever since the closure was announced, business in the area and vendors at the market were already feeling the squeeze, as community members reduced their spending as they were becoming more cautious with their budget. According to information received, the situation today is the same as persons in the area indicated that the Friday market which was once vibrant, is now fading into the “ghost town” as many had predicted ahead of the shutdown of the Wales Estate.Field worker Mohamed Suliman, 45, has worked with the Enmore Estate for some 22 years. He took care of his family, raised his daughter and developed himself from the earnings he acquired as a sugar worker. Suliman does not see many positives for the community of Enmore after the estate is closed.This newspaper caught up with him on one of his usual evening strolls near the popular market square. He highlighted that Enmore is heading down a similar path as Wales.“Enmore will turn the same, as a ghost town like Wales because most people actually depend on the sugar estate. Like how now is grinding, you get Friday market but like that dead cause people not working for enough money,” he noted.Speaking on how he sees his own future, Suliman stressed that he could have only waited on discussions with management to inform workers on who will remain employed with the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the others who would be retrenched. Suliman indicated that he’s not quite sure what course of action he will take regarding his future, but what he does know is that wide categories of workers and their families would be affected. The Sugar Corporation explained on Friday that some 1500 persons attached to the East Demerara Estate will be made redundant by end of the crop season.As reported, there are many ECD communities that depend in some way or the other on the Enmore Estate. Workers come from villages such as Victoria, Bachelor’s Adventure, Golden Grove, Enterprise and Haslington. Suliman stressed that with the estate in existence, workers and business persons are more certain of their existence.“When the sugar estate grinding, people can do more business, a lot of groceries will sell,” he highlighted.After interviewing the field worker, this publication met with other residents before finally ending up at a sports betting establishment, where many young and older men often find themselves. The general consensus there was that Enmore will be gravely affected by the closure.Factory worker with 15 years of service, Terry Gobin said there are no jobs for young people, further highlighting that the closure will only add to the strain in the community which, according to him, has seen an uptick in criminal activity. He reasoned that with all the closures of sugar estates, Government should probably embark on a programme of distributing some of the earnings from the incoming oil industry.Other men in the betting shop told this newspaper that alternative job opportunities should be provided for those who will lose their jobs. Guyana Times understands that the East Demerara Estate has more than 200 workers in the factory alone. Sitting at the shop was an electrician, Yograj Singh, who has been plying his trade for the past four years. Assessing the impending closure, from a young man’s perspective, he said many young men are finding difficulty finding employment.“It gan be tough for them cause jobs right now slow; Enmore heading to the burial ground,” Singh remarked; a comment echoed by some fellow residents.Others expressed that the economic impact from the closure could even affect marriages as in some cases, both parties are employed with GuySuCo.