Ebola Corpses ‘Dumped’ in Wetlands

first_imgAgainst the backdrop of the Liberian government’s announcement that it would “consider cremating” (burning) the corpses of those who have died from the deadly Ebola virus, the burial team from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW) on Saturday dumped at least 45 bodies in Kissi Camp, near the Kpeh-kpeh Town Community, Upper Johnsonville, just northwest of the City of Paynesville. Guarded by a heavily armed platoon of the Liberian Army as well as Police Support Unit (PSU) officers from the Liberia National Police, two mini trucks conveyed the corpses to the west bank of the Kpanwein River to be dropped off in mass graves dug by a hired yellow machine.The Kpanwein River connects the Kpeh-Kpeh Town Community to Whein Town in the east and Chicken Soup Factory on Somalia Drive in the west, as well as Upper and Lower Johnsonville and many other communities.Since the first truckload of corpses arrived Saturday, residents of Johnsonville have vehemently rejected the use of their community to dispose of the bodies.  According to Kpeh-Kpeh Town Chief Joseph S. Karway, the community’s main concern is that the plot of land where the graves have been dug is a wetland on the bank of a river that is a source of water for many surrounding communities. They fear that their wells – from which they get water for drinking and domestic use – will get contaminated, exposing them to other diseases. Furthermore, the land designated for the disposal of the corpses is privately owned, with cornerstones conspicuously planted and marked.  One of the landowners, a businessman named Mr. Cole, said he was never contacted regarding the use of the piece of land he had purchased with a probated deed for his son, Joseph F. Dolo (cornerstone marked: JFD).  “I’m not asking them to pay me [money] for my land.  I’m going to take the authorities to task for illegally using my land to bury dead bodies,” he said.Enraged that they had not been informed that their community would play host to such a burial site given the implications involved, youth from Kpeh-kpeh Town and nearby communities started felling trees across the road, denying passage to the vehicles en route to bury the dead. The PSU responded with brutal action which turned bloody for some of the resistant residents.  The police were backed by troops of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) commanded by 1st Lieutenant Alloycious Quaye of the Military Police Unit (MP).1st Lt Quaye told the Daily Observer that the AFL’s duty was to provide ‘security’ for the yellow machine and other government vehicles that were assigned with the process of burying the bodies in the area.”But in the process, some residents who tried to put up resistance to the process — identified as Carey Daniel, Sheriff, Armstrong, and few other persons, among them, a couple, Prince and Patience Yormie — were allegedly brutalized by the LNP officers.For his part, Johnsonville Township Commissioner, Melvin Bettie, told the Daily Observer that he was indirectly connected to the dumping of the bodies, because, when approached by the MOH/SW authorities, he could not immediately provide a burial site for the corpses.According to him, he was not the one who ordered the execution of the burial exercise, but “because of my job, I assigned the Land Commissioner, Michael Taylor, to supervise the process.”Mr. Taylor is yet to comment regarding his involvement.While it is not yet clear exactly who authorized the burial of the Ebola corpses in that location, this is a glaring example of the Liberian government’s lack of coordination and capacity to handle the effects of the Ebola epidemic. The yellow machine broke down after a few graves were dug and, as a result, several other bodies were left floating in holes of water, not properly buried. The corpses, according to our security source, were those collected from several other local hospitals including the ones picked up from the ELWA Hospital, particularly at the Ebola ‘Quarantine’ Unit.The corpses were accompanied by corresponding plywood pegs bearing their respective names, ages and dates of death. However, the pegs were left scattered on the ground with no apparent attempt to mark the graves of the deceased.Among the corpses deposited there is that of the late Dr. Patrick Nshamdze, 57, who expired on August 1, 2014.  He was a Cameroonian and the Chief Administrator of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital in Congo Town, Monrovia. Others include: Vivian Pewe, 24; Joyce Paul, 28; John Forkpah, 27; Musu Johnson, 39, Sister Shalor, 35; Gerald K. Kollie, 45; Joe Gbozeh, 50; Mercy Dahn, 35; James D. Paul, 35; Joy Moses, 58; Augustine Jalo, 45; Isatu Joe, 20; Mamie S. Kparteh, 29; and Edward K. Brown, 63; Lusu Fayia, 60; Hawa Sirleaf, 24; Krubo Carter; 17, Korpo E. Kollie, 25; and Kollie Klemie, 60; among others. They all died at various locations reportedly of the Ebola-like symptoms between July 29 and August 1, 2014.Up to press time last night, the Observer reliably learnt that authorities of the MOH/SW were transporting more corpses to the site for dumping.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Kerr tips ‘Ade’ for Harambee Stars return

first_img0Shares0000Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi in action against the Leones Vegetarianos of Equatorial Guinea during their CAF Champions League first leg clash hosted at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on February 11, 2018. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 12- Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr believes that once he gets back to top fitness, Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi will return to the national team, noting that he has immense potential to light up Kenyan football.Omondi returned to Gor Mahia at the beginning of the season after three and a half years out following an impressive trial period that captured Kerr’s attention. The forward scored the opening goal in Gor Mahia’s 2-0 win over Equatorial Guinea side Leones Vegeteranios in a CAF Champions League tie last weekend.“Once I get Kevin to peak fitness, I think he’s gonna be a player to light up Kenyan football and I hope the Harambee Stars coach sees this. We brought him back because of his potential and he has been fantastic in the two games he has played,” Kerr said of the forward.Omondi who has always been a fan favourite for K’Ogalo’s green army earned a standing ovation when he was substituted in the match against vegetarianos and Kerr has promised more will be seen of the forward.Gor Mahia’s Kevin Omondi , Godfrey Walusimbi against Leonne Vegetarianos’ Mosso Ngueme during the first leg of the 2018 CAF Champions League played at the Machakos Stadium on 10th February 2018. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAThe British coach was also full of praise for new signing Ephraim Guikan who stepped off the bench to score the second goal with his first involvement of the match as well as defender Joash Onyango.“Ephraim’s a new player in the team and definitely it is a bit difficult for him finding play time especially with two good strikers in the team. But he’s had a good attitude and overall a very good striker,”“Joash has been terrific and has replaced Musa (Mohammed) very well. He knows it is very hard as a defender to play when the others are performing and he has been working very hard,” Kerr opined.The 2-0 result against Vegetarianos on Saturday earned the reigning Kenyan champions an edge ahead of the return leg tie to be played in 10 days time in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.“The boys were brilliant; they did everything I wanted and even more. I thought the performance and attitude was fantastic straight from kick off. Credit to the Equatorial Guinea team because they came in with a plan but I am happy we can go to the second leg with the advantage,” the coach noted.Gor Mahia players jostle for space with Leones Vegetarianos. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAA win for Gor in the return leg will earn them a berth in the first round where they face the winner between Tunisian giants Esperance du Tunis and Mauritanian side ASAC Concorde. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg played in Nouakchott.Before then, Kerr and his charges will switch their attention to their catch up Kenyan Premier League clash against Zoo Kericho on Thursday where the tactician is confident of bagging another three points.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more