Demolition Exercise Hits SKD Boulevard

first_imgThe Demolition exercise going on at the SKD Boulevard Junction-EPA, LWSC begin robust wetland awareness campaign with removal of illegal structures Liberians who have illegally been constructing in wetlands, blocking waterways and alleys, not just in Monrovia and its immediate environs, but across the country should brace themselves for an unexpected harsh reality as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the Liberia Water Sewer Corporation (LWSC) have begun a massive demolition exercise in Paynesville and Congo Town.The two agencies of government are collaborating to ensure that the LWSC has access to its infrastructures such as waterlines and valves, over many of which residents have constructed illegal structures. This is an effort for the corporation to adequately supply water to Monrovia and other nearby communities. The initiative is also meant to clear waterways and alleys are to prevent flooding as well as the destruction of the mangrove forest.The exercise, which was also done in collaboration with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), began on the SKD Boulevard last weekend and, according to the stakeholders, this should serve as a caveat to other communities in the country. It coincided with the launch of a campaign on wetlands.LWSC Deputy Director for Technical Services, Dan Saryee, said the corporation is doing a lot of work but is being disturbed by actions of some unscrupulous residents within various communities.He decried the actions of people who are constructing on the waterlines that were recently constructed. “We have just completed the construction of a major water line along this route and we have observed that people have started to build upon these lines. This very unfortunate,” he said.Mr. Saryee said it was against this background that the LWSC engaged the EPA for the need to collaborate and solve this problem.He said, “It is unfortunate that people built over the LWSC valves making it very impossible for us to locate. The valves are practically in their homes. “So this exercise is meant to adequately protect our infrastructures.”EPA and LWSC men at work“I want to urge residents who are in the habit of doing this to stop. These structures will be demolished because we have to ensure that our facilities are protected. What we used to build these infrastructures are public funds and we must respect that. We need to supply water to our people and this is a must. We cannot allow some unscrupulous people to be a threat to this mandate,” he said.Few structures were demolished at the start of the exercise at SKD Boulevard Junction. Though the owners of the structures did not show up during the demolition exercises, the EPA said it had sent warning earlier.EPA Executive Director, Nathaniel Blama, frowned on residents who are involved in these acts, saying that they do not mean well for the country.He said filling the wetland does not only cause flooding, it also hampers the distribution of water supply across the city. This, he said, is because the mangrove swamp serves as a filtration ground for the water. “If you are harvesting groundwater, this is where it filters from. So if we block the waterways, the boreholes will overtime be lack of water because the process of filtering and pumping the water will not be able to take place,” he noted.Protection of mangroves forest paramountA Vegetation of the mangrove forest on the SKD BoulevardThe EPA is cautioning against the destruction of mangroves that play a very important in preserving the environment, has huge financial potential for the country and serve as  breeding habitats for fish and other marine life and many more good reasons.Mr. Blama noted that the EPA is about to get vigilante to arrest and punish people who are destroying the mangrove forests.The mangroves play pivotal roles in combat against climate change. They protect shorelines from damaging storm and hurricane winds, waves, and floods. They also help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems.They maintain water quality and clarity, filtering pollutants and trapping sediments originating from land. Mr. Blama also added, “This ecosystem also serves as a natural control for flooding. Every time it rains, we begin to cry that the place is flooded and you need government aid. But do you forget  what the consequences would be when you block the waterways?”“The wetlands absorb and filter water coming from the highlands and then recycle it. So when one fills in the wetland and build in there. So where do you expect the water to go? It will definitely go back in your homes.”He said the wetland has the potential for us to get billions of dollars for our country but we must preserve it adequately. “Getting such funds will enable government to deliver the needed social services to its people.A wetlands awareness signboard being planted on the SKD BoulevardThe EPA boss however disclosed that the EPA, FDA and the Ministry of Finance are currently developing the requisite document that will help the country access or leverage its carbon potentials. “But this won’t be possible if the partners come to quantify our carbon and get to know that we have cleared our entire mangrove. They will definitely take us to be not serious. They will tell us that we don’t deserve the money.As part of the campaign, signboards with warning against encroaching on wetlands are being erected across Montserrado and other places.In remarks, FDA Managing Director, C. Mike Doryen, said country like Costa Rica is making millions of dollars from their mangrove forest and Liberia can do the same.“As a result of that country’s potential; it is the most celebrated eco-tourism center of the world. What we see here in our mangrove swamps are also worth billions upon billions of dollars from this natural land,” he said.But unfortunate for Liberia, people are encroaching on the wetlands causing it to shrink. “This has to stop. We want to laud the efforts of the EPA, who mobilize the funding, and its partners for these initiatives.”The signboards are meant to create the needed awareness, but he said the exercise will go beyond symbolism. “We got to be very proactive in protecting our mangrove resources. I can tell you that we will have regular patrols to ensure that illegal structures are removed. And we will try to replenish those places that are damaged.”Eventually we will restore the sanctity of our mangrove forest basically for numbers of purposes. “We need this because it is good for eco-tourism. This is very good for the carbon market, which brings in twice or thrice the amount of money obtain from the sale of carbon from the rainforest.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘SCANDAL OF APPLE’S 2 PER CENT TAX RATE’ – DOHERTY

first_imgA DONEGAL TD has reacted with anger to reports that global computer and gadget company Apple paid just 2 per cent tax in Ireland.Appearing before the US Senate Committee today, the leadership of Apple confirmed that a deal was agreed with the Irish Government that reduced the tax liability to two per cent has been in place for a number of years.Pearse Doherty, the Sinn Féin finance spokesperson said: “Today at questions the Taoiseach denied that a special deal was in place for Apple and its tax liabilities. Appearing before the Senate Subcommittee hearings the leadership of Apple confirmed that a deal had been negotiated and was in place since Apple made its first investment in Ireland in the early 1980s. “Since 2003 this has meant that Apple has paid less than two per cent corporation tax. The Taoiseach needs, as a matter of urgency, to come to the Dáil and put right the record. Through the hearings this state has been likened to a tax haven this is undermining our international reputation.”The findings by the US Senate Committee that show Apple is using Ireland to write-off its international tax bill by setting up an Irish incorporated, non-resident entity to handle 30% of its global earnings but pays tax nowhere.The committee describes Ireland as a tax haven and that is not something this government should be ignoring or dismissing as not their problem, said Doherty.He went on: “The issue of large multi-national corporations like Apple and Google not paying high effective tax rates in Ireland, or using Ireland as a vehicle to avoid paying tax internationally, is prominent in the news now but it’s something Sinn Fein has been highlighting for a period of time. “I contacted the Oireachtas Finance Committee in November and requested hearings on this issue which are due to commence shortly. I have put a number of names of experts in the field forward to the committee and I have also proposed that we invite the Irish representatives of leading multi-national companies in Ireland in to answer questions.“Ireland has benefitted from foreign direct investment in our economy in terms of jobs and payroll taxes. These jobs have to be protected. But our corporation tax rate is already very fair and cannot be undermined by a continual writing down of effective tax rates. Ireland is perceived as a tax haven and that is not beneficial to us in the long-term for either jobs, or tax take.“This government continues to protest that our tax system is transparent. It is transparently flawed. Our tax code has been written for the benefit of large companies and the wealthiest in society, while SMEs and individuals are obliged to pay their tax bills in full. They cannot negotiate reduced tax bills.“There cannot be one law for the big company and another for the small. This is what I want to get to the bottom of in the committee hearings. This is where we can shine a light on the tax structures and activities of large companies to reveal once and for all if they are playing the game fairly or they, and this government, are taking us for a ride.” ‘SCANDAL OF APPLE’S 2 PER CENT TAX RATE’ – DOHERTY was last modified: May 21st, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:’SCANDAL OF APPLE’S 2 PER CENT TAX RATE’ – DOHERTYlast_img read more