Barely one month after the endorsement of the Sinoe Coastal Project by stakeholders, the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has approved the US$20.4 million to be jointly implemented by the Government of Liberia and UNDP.
The Liberian government through the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) will tackle the effects of sea erosion on the livelihoods, assets and entire ecosystems of over 16,000 people in coastal communities in Sinoe.
The project titled “Enhancing the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities in Sinoe County of Liberia”, will be mainly implemented in Greenville, but will extend some soft services like provision of micro-finance, value addition, and sustainable agriculture to other coastal counties.
Sinoe County Superintendent Lee Nagbe Chea Sr. stressed that the project would focus on empowering the people who directly feel the impacts of climate change. He encouraged direct involvement of communities in the implementation of the project to help prepare them to take ownership and responsibility for the project, adding that the people of Sinoe were eagerly anticipating positive impacts from the project.
UNDP Resident Representative Stephen Rodriques also reiterated building a strong partnership with the communities by seeking to enlist their full cooperation and support during the implementation of the project to achieve success.
“The cooperation of communities is key to the successful implementation of the project. We look forward to working with the government and the county authorities to establish county-level coordination groups to enhance implementation,” said Rodriques.
“While the project presents viable solutions in addressing the impacts of climate change, it is important to develop long-term integrated and participatory planning that involves the public sector, private sector, and communities at all levels of governance”.
The project will construct an 800-meter-long revetment to protect Mississippi Street in Greenville, Sinoe County and a 700-meter-long revetment to protect the shoreline by reducing coastal erosion around the inlet where the Sinoe/Sehnkwehn river empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
Deputy Mines and Energy Minister, George Abou Gontor, thanked development partners including GEF for the support provided to the Sinoe project.
“This project will build on experiences gained from the implementation of previous projects in New Kru Town and Buchanan, funded by GEF, the Government of Liberia and other partners”.
The Deputy Executive Director of the EPA Randall M. Dobayou said Liberia’s partnership with UNDP was highly beneficial to the country.
He said the Government is committed to doing more in protecting its coastlines, coastal ecosystems, and the environment from the impacts of climate change and other environmental issues. “There is a strong need for continuous participation from different stakeholder groups – youth, women, fishermen, elders, etc., in Sinoe County,” said Dobayou.
The livelihood benefits of the project will expand beyond the fisheries industry to other sectors such as agriculture, forestry, etc.