Liberia: EPA Seeks Media Help to Take Climate Information to the End-users

Buchanan, Grand Bassa – In order to grasp and sway the attention of the major stakeholders toward environmental issues in the country, Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking the partnership of the media.

As part of its achievement, the EPA National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport organized a three-day stakeholders training on the Benefits and Sustainability of the Early Warning System (EWS), where they invited the media as an integral partner.

The training, which began on Thursday, August 16, with the theme, “Taking Climate Information to the End-users,” is being held at the Unification Pavilion, in the seaport city of Buchanan, Lower Grand Bassa County.

At the formal opening of the three-day event, which is being sponsored by the United Nations Development Programs (UNDP), Mr. Randall M. Dobayou, Deputy Executive Director for the Early Warning System (EWS) said it is one of the priority climate change adaptation projects in the nation.

“This EWS is enabling Liberia to provide weather and climate change information; so you as stakeholders need to be aware of it and how it works,” he asserted.

Dobayou further told the journalists and other participants in the hall that everyone had gathered in Buchanan because they at EPA want their audience to know the impact the EWS has on the society and how the media can be of help in disseminating the information.

He noted that the media is a key player in spreading the information and as such the media should take advantage of reporting environmental stories.

Responding, FrontpageAfrica’s Alaskai Moore Johnson and other journalists, including Onesmus Garway, Radio Gbehzohn, Inprofile Daily’s Abraham Morris, suggested that the EPA should organize a special training for media practitioners, who have got interest in reporting on environmental issues, including climate change and its effects. They also urge EPA to set aside within their budget, a portion solely apportioned to media reportage on their subject of interest.

The EPA is working hard to push the awareness of the EWS that they now have in place to predict the weather and they want Liberians getting to know about it.

The workshop they organized, brought together more than 60 participants from four counties, including Montserrado, Rivercess, Grand Bassa and Margibi.

In addition to wanting the media partnership, the EPA’s workshop is also intended to increase awareness in the government and private sectors, as well as local communities of the major risks and negative effects associated with climate change.

Also speaking, the NCSS National Coordinator, Mr. Jeremiah G. Sonkan, stressed the need to improve the country’s hydro-meteorological services and its associated networks aimed at observing and predicting risky weather related to hazards and climate trends.

According to him, the EWS can be applied in many fields to describe the provision of an emerging dangerous hazard that enables advance action to reduce risk associated with climate change.

“The EWS is a setup aimed at avoiding or reducing the negative hazardous impacts of climate change such as floods, landslides and forest fires. An effective EWS benefits the local population,” he added.