News & Press

Local reed plant serves as bucket for some residents of Nimba County, Liberia

The preoccupation of every Liberian and foreign resident now is how to stop the spread of the merciless Ebola virus which has claimed over 1,300 lives including 79 health care providers. Since the outbreak hit the country in March 2014, health facilities supported by the Christian Health Association of Liberia (CHAL) are no exception.

CHAL informed that the fight requires total collaboration of all to eradicate this deadly disease from Liberia and the sub-region. According to CHAL Ebola Response Team, collective efforts and full cooperation of community members is needed in combating the deadly Ebola virus. This Christian institution is going all out to educate and sensitize people throughout the country living in denial or not by admonishing them to follow the preventive measures against the virus as this is the only remedy available for now.

As you will see in these photos below, a mother in Nimba County encourages her daughter to always pour clean water in a special reed plant for hand washing. According to Cecelia Korkor, she and her family have been using this local method since she heard of Ebola. Cecelia informed further that she lacks the financial will power to purchase a bucket with faucet costing US$15.00 or more which is widely used in Liberia for hand washing since the outbreak of Ebola. According to health tips and advice, regular hand washing curbs the spread of Ebola. As you may be aware, the Ebola epidemic in Liberia is heavily affecting the country’s economy.

Cecelia disclosed that they will do everything to protect and prevent themselves as there is only one choice for them and that is to follow the preventive measures to the letter. In concluding, she said someday soon, we will overcome this thing called Ebola.

It will interest you to know that the reed plant in the photo above has the ability to be useful in its own way and this is unique to Africa, especially Liberia. This plant is common to Liberia and forms tall stands of reed-like swamp vegetation in shallow water. This tall, robust, leafless aquatic plant can grow thick, woody and cluster-up together. It forms vast stands in swamps, shallow lakes, and along stream banks and is common to all Liberia’s counties in huge quantity.

This plant is also use for making beds, benches and mats. Others use this for fencing their premises. It grows most often in places where it is erected.

Greater efforts centering on awareness and resource distribution are needed to ensure that Ebola is effectively tackled in all corners of Liberia and that the crisis does not have disastrous consequences for long-term community relations.

In the interaction with Cecelia and her family, CHAL Executive Director and DIFAEM Director for Medical Research Institute, Doctor Gisela Schneider donated parcel of chlorine with education on the usage and thanked her for the efforts and local initiative in the absence of money to purchase bucket with faucet.

Lawrence Tarr, Media & Communications/ CHAL

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