“Once you are committed of proven your detractors’ wrong, do what you can do to bring them to shame; they will regret their actions,” words of a Liberian civil servant who recently spoke to the GNN in Monrovia advised.
This parental advice gave rise to this writer to professionally pen down this article aimed at highlighting the untiring administrative services of the Deputy Executive Director , now acting Executive Director of the government owned Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amid smear campaign from detractors and people who want to see him out.
Randall M. Dobayou, the man trained at Alabama State University In Global Climate Science and Early Warning Communication and a product of the Vatterott Technical College in the United States with expertise in wind turbine technology, refrigeration and ventilation is one of President George Weah’s committed appointees, being a staunch member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Dobayou has vowed to justify the confidence imposed in by the Liberian leader. Dobayou served as the youngest Secretary General for CDC-USA.
His appointment by President Weah was not only based on his role as member of the ruling party, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), but was due to his qualification as a young Liberian who has studied in his respective discipline from where he is now been suited, the EPA. Before coming to Liberia, Dobayou was US an EPA certified Universal Technician and a wind Turbine traveling Techincian; he worked for BHI renewable energy in the United States Of America.
Been passionate for his job at the EPA, Randall Dobayou has made several gains in the shortest possible time; these gains put in place have been lauded by the Liberian people as a result of the wonderful being carryout by Mr. Randall Dobayou as Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency.
His professional innovative at this agency has grossly rubbished and ignored the huge level of negative propaganda been preached by detractors, as many have begun pouring praises on the acting boss of the EPA for his innovational stance to making sure that those in the water producing sector meet the professional demands of the agency and the health needs of the Liberian people in general.
In his bid to vigorously keep the country and its people healthy by drinking clean and healthy water, the acting EPA Executive Director closed down several water that were in the habit to producing unhealthy drinking water for extracting ground water without environmental permit which is inconsistent with section 35 of the Environemntal Management Law of Liberia; section 35 talks about water quality standards.
Some of these companies fined and closed down were: the Ducor and SSS Water Companies for operating without permit since 2006, and the York Trading Corporation for bringing sulfuric acid into Liberia without authorization from the EPA.,
Dobayou’s engagement also met with the Solid Waste Management Association of Liberia on the sustainable management of solid waste, was instrumental for GEF to approve US$8.9 Million for the implementation of the coastal defense project in Sinoe, was able to assessed the Bea Mountain chemical storage facility.
Celebrated world Environment day on June 5th as well.
The Environmental Protection Agency has shut down seven Mineral Water Companies for producing unsafe drinking water to the Liberian populace.
The decision Followed scientific test conducted by Laboratory technicians at the Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the bacteriological analysis result shows that out of the eight Companies only one to include: Sunny Aqua located on the GSA Road in Paynesville met the global and classical quality standard test and is best suited and satisfied for drinking.
According information received, Dobayou’s services at the EPA saw out of the eight companies, Sunny Aqua, located along the GSA Road, was free of the two categories of pollution tested for, while the rest, including Horoya Pure Mineral Water, WAHCO Purified Mineral Water, Flourish Mineral Water, Romekah Mineral Water, Mekki’s Pure Mineral Water, and Ducor Safe were found with bacteria either associated with feces or others from different sources.
The EPA testing considered the ‘Faecal Coliforms’ and ‘Total Bacteria’ in the research. Faecal Coliform is concerned with pollution caused as a result of having a water facility near a septic tank, about five feet away; while Total Bacteria, as identified in the research, come from different sources with having a water facility near a mangrove swamp inclusive.
Recently, Mr. Dobayou addressed representatives of water companies at the agency’s office, indicated that the initiative to do a random sampling of water in Monrovia and its environs came because Liberia is in a global village affected by the Coronavirus affecting other countries.
This is important because if a person with the virus has other diseases like diarrhea, the strength of the virus will trigger; for the virus becomes more active in victims with other underlying health problems,” “Even besides Coronavirus, we think Liberians deserve safe drinking water,” Dobayou told the gathering.
Regarding companies found to be trading polluted water to the public, the acting EPA Executive Director said “Dirty water is proportionate to a dirty environment. If water is produced and has bacteria, it means the environment is not clean.”
Speaking to reporters following the release of the result was the Acting Executive Director of the EPA Randall Dobayou who stated that the exercise was not meant to name and shame companies including taking them out of business but to ensure that they all work together to have a safe environment for living.
“We will work with you to ensure you meet all quality standards for the benefit of us all”, Randall told the water producers.
He was quick to mention that a product can be satisfied and clear for operations/drinking due to tests conducted but can also later on be tested unsafe for drinking again due to scientific testing.
According to the Acting Executive Director of the EPA Randall Dobayou the focus of the test was among other things meant to reduce the potential risk of the population in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He told the gathering that they are under obligation to help protect the environment as such quality services to the people is paramount and should be observed by all.
The Acting EPA boss providing more details on how the work was done stressed that samples of each of the eight companies’ water sachets were collected on the local market because it is where the people are often and unknowingly exposed to such mass production and subsequent consumption of their respective products.
After the respective collection of the products were done a professional and scientific study was conducted and findings arrived at before coming up with such a result, Randall uttered.
He said if they are not satisfied with the results they can challenge the EPA but he is confident that his technicians did a good void of biases.
“We are not shutting you people down perpetually, is just a work in progress and we are doing a control run and once you do the right thing in the soonest possible time and we are satisfied with your production scientifically, we will reopen your respective businesses”, Mr. Dobayou pointed out.
As part of the analysis faecal coliforms and total bacteria were parameters used among others during the study.
Though the water producers generally accepted the result from the EPA and assured them that they will work with the regulatory body in order to ensure they meet quality standards, they also raised some concerns about the porous plastic which is a serious issue they are confronted with daily and wants the intervention of the EPA in said regard.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dobayou encouraged some of the companies who are yet to obtain their permits from EPA to do so in order for them to know who and how to carry out a regular and proper monitoring of their respective operations.
According to experts, poor storage facility and location of production sites among others are attributing factors that led to some of the companies not being fully producing satisfied and quality products to the public.
However, and with the Wiliness and collaboration from the parties involved and with the EPA professional assistance the issues going forward can be addressed for the benefit of the general public.
Also EPA for the first In 13 years has completed her state of the Environment Report (SoER) and National Environmental Plan of Action ( NEAP) SOER/NEAP is funded by the LFSP (Liberia Forest Sector Project) funded by the government of Norway.
This report aims to evaluate the most pressing of these environmental challenges by considering key environmental resources and their states and trends. The report aims to bridge a gap in what is believed to be a lack of proper scientific data on environmental trends in Liberia and resulting management tools. Providing some of this needed data, this State of the Environmental Report (SoER) for 2007-2020 and its National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) for 2019-2023 have been developed for Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report has been compiled by various specialists in their respective fields, ranging from an ecologist, pedologist, waste specialists to social scientist. The various specialist authors contributing to this report saw it as their responsibility to gather data that accurately describe each environmental state and trend with no impartial view or obstruction.
The NEAP is based upon the findings presented in the SoER; the latter which provides an assessment of the status and trends of the environment and its natural resources, and their effect on the wellbeing of the country’s population. Once in every five years, there is a nation-wide study carried out to establish the state of the environment, as well as to develop a five-year NEAP to guide the Government of Liberia (GoL) in managing its environmental resources. The preparation of the SoER and NEAP is largely participatory, drawing knowledge and resources from lead agencies, development partners, research institutions and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) (amongst others). Although an SoER technical committee is responsible for overall quality control, the preparation of these reports is outsourced to ensure transparency and quality data from environmental specialists.