Protests against Ebola Facility in New Kru Town
Residents of New Kru Town last Saturday angrily tried to prevent the construction of a facility being built next to the Redemption Hospital, but shrouded (blanketed, covered) in mystery.
The facility is rumored to be intended as an Ebola hospice (hospital, rest home).
For weeks, unconfirmed reports circulated in the community that the Liberian government was constructing the facility that popped up near “Redemption,” to accommodate potential Ebola victims.
The construction continued for several days, with bulldozers and workers clearing the spot for construction work to begin.
Residents, who asked the workers what kind of facility was being erected, (put up, built) did not get the answers they expected.
“We don’t know,” a worker representative was reported to have said; “we are doing the job that we were sent to do.”
Lacking the details and information they needed — from the workers or hospital officials—residents began to form small groups to discuss the implication of a steadily rising structure allegedly intended for those affected with the Ebola virus.
Last Saturday morning, many young children, supported by older siblings and residents, held placards, denouncing and protesting setting up a camp for Ebola victims in New Kru Town.
“No Space for Ebola Center in New Kru Town, No! No! No!” a placard read, as children lined up in front of the construction site.
Another placard said, “The People of New Kru Town say No, No, to Ebola Camp.”
Fearing violence, several police officers arrived and took positions across the street from the hospital, just in case of any eventuality.
However, the children kept their vigil and waited for anyone responsible to tell them what the construction of the facility was about.
Meanwhile the Daily Observer learned that a source from Redemption Hospital told the protesters that the construction was for a TB Annex.
The Daily Observer did not get any official confirmation.
“We want to know what is being built and what it will be used for,” one resident told this paper.
Another said, “We live here and want to know what to expect, after hearing that shaking hands can give someone the virus.”
Ministry of Health & Social Welfare officials have stumbled over how to inform the public about the spread of the virus, often parsing words and walking statements back. Officials have since stopped spreading the information about shaking hands and are now cautioning individuals to avoid “animals that die on their own” such as chimpanzees, antelopes, monkeys, and other mammals that are first in line as potential carriers of the virus.
At the construction site yesterday, work on the building continued.