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Friday, June 14, 2024

JOURNALISTS REJECT EU PROJECT’S DSA, DEMAND FAIR COMPENSATION

Date:

BOMI COUNTY, LIBERIA – Pumah FM/TV in Bomi County reports that a European Union-funded project, PROBIO – Protecting Biodiversity through Law Enforcement and Community-Led Initiatives, is facing backlash as journalists reject the offered Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA). The US$1.5 million project aimed at enhancing forestry and conservation efforts has hit a snag with media participants over financial grievances.

Thirty journalists from various media institutions across Liberia were selected to attend a short-term course on forestry and conservation in Tubmanburg, Bomi County. However, tensions rose when the participants were offered a DSA of US$20 for a ten-day period, which the journalists deemed insufficient.

Reports indicate that the journalists, who traveled from River Gee, Grand Gedeh, Rivercess, Sinoe, Lofa, Montserrado, and other counties, collectively rejected the US$20 DSA. They have called on the European Union, the project funder, to urgently address their concerns. The journalists argue that the offered amount does not cover their basic expenses, and they demand a rightful DSA that reflects the cost of living and travel expenses.

Simle FM in Zwedru’s station manager, Uriah Solo Lewis, is among the aggrieved journalists. He has voiced strong dissatisfaction, warning of unspecified actions if their demands are not met. “We cannot accept such a meager amount for our participation in such an important project. The EU must take immediate steps to resolve this issue fairly,” Lewis stated.

The journalists’ stand threatens to disrupt the project’s progress, which is crucial for the conservation efforts and law enforcement initiatives aimed at protecting Liberia’s rich biodiversity. Their participation is considered vital for raising public awareness and fostering community-led conservation efforts.

As it stands, the situation remains tense, with journalists across multiple counties prepared to take further actions if their grievances are not addressed. The European Union and the project’s organizers have yet to respond publicly to the journalists’ demands.

This incident highlights the ongoing challenges in adequately compensating local stakeholders and participants in international development projects. The resolution of this dispute will be critical in determining the future engagement and success of the PROBIO project in Liberia.

The media fraternity and the general public now await the European Union’s response to these demands, hoping for a swift and fair resolution to ensure the continuation of this significant environmental initiative.

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