Government and Partners launch the implementation of Coastal Resilience Project to save Sinoe from Sea Erosion

November 28, 2022

A partial view of the coastal belt of Sinoe County

UNDP Liberia

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) with support from UNDP on 25 November 2022 formally launched the implementation of  the Sinoe coastal resilience project during an inception workshop.

The project funded by the Global Environment Facilty (GEF) will protect coastal communities in Sinoe and their livelihood assets from climate change by implementing sea and river defense and risk management approaches while enhancing income streams through livelihood diversification.

The project, 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.

“The start of this project is a milestone that comes after rigorous negotiation as coastal communities continue to be threatened by sea level rise and intense rainfall,” said Mines and Energy Minister Gesler Murray. He said the evidence is glaring with almost half of Mississippi Street in Greenville already gone.

Reinforcing Mines and Energy Minister’s statement, EPA Executive Director Wilson Tarpeh stressed that the situation in Sinoe remains critical and requires urgent and immediate actions.

Professor Tarpeh is excited about the strategic partnership with UNDP and the project management arrangements which gives communities and Liberian experts the opportunity to be involved and support the roll out and implementation of the project.

“This is the second highest project managed by competent Liberians with the participation of communities. It is a major test that we can’t afford to fail,” Professor Tarpeh noted.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for Operations Thabani Mabodoko called for the need to collectively work to change the current short-term approach to addressing the impacts of climate change to long-term integrated and participatory planning that involves the public sector, private sector, and communities at all levels of governance.

“This project has adopted an integrated approach that involves micro-finance, value-chain addition, sustainable agriculture as well as coastal protection measures. UNDP applauds the Government for its continuous commitment in providing co-financing for the mobilization of these funds, which are very critical in driving the country towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Government Pro-poor Agenda,” said Mabodoko.

Other speakers at the program including the County’s Senator Milton Teahjay, Representative Matthew Zarzar, and Superintendent Lee Chea, reaffirmed support to the project stressing the need to ensure that the construction of revetments start immediately to prevent the loss of more land area, adding that residents of vulnerable communities must be the direct beneficiaries of job opportunities.

The  project is worth over USD10 million and 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.