With the construction of the Ziggida Health Center reaching foundation level through the sole initiative of citizens of Ziggida Town and its environs operating under the umbrella of Ziggida Development Association (ZDA), in Zorzor District, Lofa County, the Better Future Foundation (BFF), has called on the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Ministry of Health and Lofa County Legislative Caucus to make financial allocations via both the County and District Development Funds for completion of the health center project.
The lack of treatment facilities and the dire need to address increasing health problems have prompted citizens of Ziggida Town, Zorzor District, Liberia, and other adjacent towns in the Republic of Guinea to rally for construction of a modern health center in Ziggida at the cost of US$250,000.
Ziggida Town which is situated in Zorzor District, Lofa County, hosts one of the Government of Liberia’s “Protective Forest Reserves.
The Groundbreaking ceremony of the modern health center which was attended by hundreds of Liberian and Guinean citizens led by chiefs, elders, youths as well as women groups and other local officials from the various towns was held on Saturday, November 30, 2019.
The healthcare project is a community driven self-help initiative by citizens of the Town, through the Ziggida Development Association (ZDA), said Mr. Augustine S. Arkoi, Founder/President of the Better Future Foundation (BFF), proponent of Liberia’s Democracy Sustainability Platform (DSP).
The need to construct the clinic is based on several premature deaths over the years, due to the lack of access to basic healthcare services in Ziggida, from where patients, mostly women and children, are transported on foot 2 hours-thirty minutes’ walk to Konia Garbo Clinic, located on the High Way between Zorzor and Voinjanain in Lofa County.
Ziggida Town in Zorzor District, Liberia, is a major crossing point that borders the Republic of Guinea. It is also the seat of the local leadership, culture and tradition for the 17 Towns of Ziama Clan, in Zorzor District.
BFF Founder/CEO Augustine S. Arkoi, speaking at the occasion in Ziggida, hailed the resilience and determination of the citizens of Ziggida for the community self-help development initiative.
He said the Government of Liberia (GOL) which had declared Ziggida Town and its environs as a “Protected Forest Reserve” styled: “Wonegizi Forests Reserve” must first and foremost consider the protection of the livelihood of the local population, particularly their rights to basic healthcare, which is inalienable and not a privilege.
Mr. Arkoi urged the citizens from both Liberian and Guinean Towns whom he said are interrelated and enjoy common traditional and social ties to remain firmly united and to work collaboratively for their own mutual socio-economic benefits.
The BFF Founder however, expressed regret over the absence of key leaders of Lofa County including Superintendent George Tamba Kamba, as well as officials of Liberia’s Forestry Development Agency (FDA), Lofa County Legislators, especially Zorzor District Representative in the Lower House of the Legislature, Beyan Howard, from the project’s groundbreaking ceremony.
BFF also used the occasion to request the Lofa County Legislative Caucus to incorporate the Ziggida Health Center into Lofa County’s Social Development Fund.
Mr. Arkoi told the gathering that financial and logistical support to the health center will go a long way in protecting the basic rights of the citizens of Ziggida and other surrounding towns and villages as it relates to accessing basic healthcare services.
“The participation of, and financial contributions made towards the construction of the clinic by representatives of three Town Chiefs from across the border towns of the Republic of Guinea, speaks volume of the strategic cross-border significance of access to health care delivery,” the BFF Founder said.
He added that if completed and operationalized, the Ziggida Health Center will immensely contribute to the actualization of the Liberian Government’s much-heralded Pro-Poor Agenda for Peace and Prosperity and the 2020 Vision of “ECOWAS of The People.”
Further speaking, at the groundbreaking ceremony, Mr. Arkoi, who served as a Co-launcher applauded the leadership of the Ziggida Development Association and urged the people of Ziggida Town to support the youth in leadership so as to ensure that their development dreams and aspirations for the town are realized.
Mr. Arkoi further indicated that the position of Ziggida in Zeama is cardinal, and as such, it needs to step up to register the image of the town positively in terms of implementing impactful development programs to cater to the basic needs of the citizens from both countries.
He asserted that the health center, when completed, will help many underprivileged people in the region including people from neighboring towns and villages in the Republic of Guinea.
Mr. Arkoi donated twenty thousand Liberian dollars ($20,000.00) on behalf of his family and the Better Future Foundation.
The Ceremony leading to the groundbreaking program was held for three days, beginning Thursday, November 28, 2019, through Saturday, November 30, 2019.
On the first day of the program, the citizens took to the streets of Ziggida for a general clean-up campaign. This was intended to give Ziggida a facelift in anticipation of guests to grace the occasion.
The second day witnessed two major activities including a football match between the Ziggida-based citizens and its Monrovia-based citizens. The soccer match was followed by a fund raising rally between the men and women of Ziggida.
On day three, the groundbreaking program was held. Making remarks at the groundbreaking program, Lawmarker/Dr. George Beyan Semah who served as a Chief Launcher pointed out that it is government’s responsibility to provide health services to its citizens.
However, Dr. Semah asserted that government cannot do everything at the same time, and as such, the citizens need to take self-help development initiatives to buttress government’s national development effort.
He assured the people of Ziggida Town of his support to the clinic project for its completion.
As part of his support to the implementation of the clinic project, Dr. Semah donated eighty thousand Liberia dollars (L$80,000.00).
He lauded the leadership of the Ziggida Development Association and citizens of Ziggida Town for their individual roles toward the completion of the clinic project.
The Chief Launcher presented two thousand Liberian dollars ($2,000.00) and half bag of rice on behalf of the people of Dorzenilor Town, a town from which he hails in Lofa County.
As for Lofa County Senator, Steve Zargo, who was absent due to his pressing engagement with the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, Nigeria, he sent a Representation in person of Mrs. Kolu Y. Beyan.
Mrs. Beyan pledged fifty thousand Liberian dollars ($50,000.00) as initial contribution from the Senator.
She said the Senator has pledged his support to the clinic project and assured the people of Ziggida of his continued support at all times.
Cllr. Joseph K. Jallah, a prominent son of Lofa County, through a proxy, made a cash donation of ten thousands Liberian dollars (L$10,000.00).
Rev. Dennis Aggrey, another son of Lofa County, represented by Mr. Kokulo Wonagbele presented one hundred United States dollars ($100.00) on behalf of Christian Revival Church family in Liberia.
Mr. Kokulo also presented one thousand Liberian dollars ($1,000.00) on behalf of the people of Kpasagezia Town.
He said the people of Kpasagezia “are nephews to Ziggida” therefore they are prepared to form part of the work whenever the project kicks off.
Mr. Dogbazee Zaza, another prominent citizen of the town appreciated the people of Ziggida and the Ziggida Development Association for the initiative.
He pledged forty thousand Liberian dollars ($40,000.00) and seventy United States dollars ($70.00) on behalf of his colleague in person of Mr. Johnny Weefah.
Mr. James K. Ballah, a resident town chief of Wakesu Town in Monrovia, was represented by Mr. Charles Gbelee who appreciated the people of Ziggida for the clinic project.
He said Wakesu Town is a younger town to Ziggida and therefore cannot pledge financial support to the project but will always be available to work whenever its people are called upon for work. However, Mr. Gbelee pledged five (5) bags of cement for the project.
Mr. Kolubah Bia, a Guinean Town Chief from Kpoda Town, extended thanks to the people of Ziggida for the great initiative.
Chief Bia indicated that the people of Kpoda are in full support of the project and that the project will not only benefit the people of Ziggida but all surrounding towns and villages including Kpoda Town; and donated 20,000 GFs as initial contribution to the project.
Mr. Flomo Lardea appreciated the leadership and people of Ziggida for the project and hopes that the project will be implemented successfully.
He said that Faryeazu is also constructing a school building for primary level students. He donated one thousand Liberian dollars on behalf of the people of Faryeazu Town.
Mr. Zaza Flomo reminded the people of Ziggida that Bomi Hill is part of Ziggida and that no one should try to separate the two towns.
He said whatever developmental initiative that will be undertaken by Ziggida, the people of Bomi Hill should be informed so that they can make their contribution towards said project.
Mr. Flomo donated six hundred Liberian dollars ($600.00) on behalf of the people of Bomi Hill for the Ziggida Town clinic project.
Mr. Tarnue Woyea Boso, Eyeazu Town Chief, Republic of Guinea, pledged the support of the people of Eyeazu towards the clinic project in Ziggida Town.
He said that the project will hugely benefit the people of Eyeazu as well. Mr. Boso said when the project is completed; the people of Eyeazu will no longer need to travel afar for much-needed medical treatments.
He donated four thousand Guinean Franc (GF) as initial contribution to the project.
Mr. Forkpa Yanquoi, Yalabala Town Chief, Republic of Guinea, for his part, extended thanks to the people of Ziggida Town for such development project.
Chief Yanquoi said that there’s no difference between the people Yalabala Town in Guinea and the people of Ziggida Town in Liberia. He said the only reason why one side is considered to be in Guinea and the other in Liberia is “The boundaries that were instituted by our colonial masters who came and divided us.”
He said with the health center constructed in Ziggida, there will be no need to travel long distances they usually travel to seek medical attention.
He donated 24,000 GF on behalf of the people of Yalabala Town in Guinea.
The Kollewala Family, represented by Mr. Victor Kollewala, presented US$500 dollars towards the construction of the clinic.
On behalf of the Acting Leadership of the Ziggida Development Association, and the people of Ziggida, Mr. Moses Ballah lauded the citizens from the various towns in Liberia and Guinea for their support to the clinic project.
He said their individual contributions toward the groundbreaking program for the clinic marks a very great achievement towards the successful implementation of the project.
“This has proven that we the people of Ziggida are in readiness to see great things happening in our home through our individual efforts. This is very laudable and I’m very proud of us all,” he said.
He described the groundbreaking program as very successful and a milestone.
A total cash of L$999,660.00 Liberian Dollars; and US$865.00 United States Dollars, excluding pledges was raised during the groundbreaking ceremony.
Better Future Foundation (BFF), a Non-State Actor, and advocate of the regional integration of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is a Civil Society Organization that is dedicated to the postwar reconstruction and development of Liberia.