In continuation of its support to post-EVD border control and surveillance, a joint UNDP/GOL mission has conducted a reconnaissance field trip to 3 border counties- Bong, Nimba and Lofa as part of efforts to enhance border control and surveillance.
The 3 counties are among eight counties benefitting from the Japanese funded Emergency Support to National Response to Ebola Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Epidemic (Enhanced Border Surveillance Project) and the proliferation of small arms.
It is being managed by the UNDP in close collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms.
The Mission visited a number of border posts and other facilities to assess prevailing working conditions, triage facilities and surveillance activities.
There were also community and local leadership engagement meetings held to provide and share information about the project activities, and make Community members more responsive to the needs on the ground.
The Team was comprised of key stakeholders including UNDP, Small Arms Commission, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), Liberia National Police (LNP) and Ministry of Justice (MOJ).
Major challenges identified during the Field Mission include: weak surveillance due to the lack of logistics; increase in the use of single barrel guns and other small arms, due to weak record keeping system; deplorable roads; poor accommodation and limited food supply for officers among others.
It was agreed that there was a need to; set up local project co-ordination teams in the counties to facilitate organization of project programmes/events and reporting on incidents; strengthen links between Community Policing with the early warning and response system as part of the broader peace building initiative.
It was also agreed that Community engagement should involve all relevant stakeholders such as clan chiefs, town chiefs, Zone chief, women and youth groups; increase sensitization to enhance community involvement and collaboration with security personnel to maintain border surveillance etc.
Subsequently, similar consultations are expected to take place in the five remaining border counties namely, Grand Gedeh, Maryland, River Gee, Grand Cape Mount, and Gbarpolu.
Eric Opoku-Community Engagement Specialist email@example.comTel; +231/0770003839
Augusta Pshorr –Communications Analyst E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Zota –National UNV Communications Associate Email: email@example.com