first_imgSoldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), in collaboration with their counterparts from the United States Department of Defense, over the weekend broke ground in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, for the construction of a 100-bed Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) for people afflicted by the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD). The US military delegation was represented by Brigadier/General Peter Corey, while the AFL was led by the Chief of Staff (COS), Brigadier/General Daniel Dee Ziankahn at the brief, but well coordinated ceremony on Friday, October 3, 2014. According to AFL COS Ziankahn, the exercise to construct the ETU was a joint operation between the governments of the United States and Liberia, particularly with authorities of the AFL and those from the U S military. He disclosed among other things that construction of the Tubmanburg unit was one of several ETUs to be built jointly by the AFL and U S military in the country, which are expected to be completed with one week time from the date of construction, which was Saturday, October 3. In keeping with the plans of action for the construction, two other units will be built in Lofa with one in Voinjama and another in Zorzor, the second largest district in the county. Bong County for example, is expected to benefit from one of the units, which accordingly, will be constructed in Totota–a centrally located and populated Town in the county.Margibi County will also get one, to be built on Bong Mines Road, while the two for Nimba County will also be constructed, one near the Jackson Fiah Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita, Lower Nimba and one near the Ganta United Methodist Hospital, located in the commercial hub of the county. For Grand Bassa, two sites are being cleared for construction, with one near in the “Own your Own Community” and the other near the former BRE Compound in the outskirts of Buchanan, the Provincial City. In Grand Cape Mount county, the Sinje construction is expected to begin Wednesday, October 8, 2014. “With those arrangements, the U.S. military has sub-contracted soldiers of the AFL Engineering Company, and all other materials for the works will be purchased locally, Brig/Gen. Corey confirmed.  He said, based on the initial plan, 20 members of the AFL Engineers are already being hired, “but the number may increase to 40 as the construction progresses across the country.” The AFL Engineers are also charged to do the sites’ survey, implement the bill of quantity, as well as draft the design for the construction of each of the selected sites in those seven counties. About few weeks ago, about 1,400 American soldiers arrived in the country to help support the fight against the EVD, which is spreading across West Africa. The U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, will provide about 700 of those soldiers, while the other 700 will be mostly combat engineers, Defense Department spokesman told reporters.The soldiers are among the total of 3,000 U.S. troops whom the Pentagon had sent into West Africa.About 300 of the troops from the 101st Airborne came from the division headquarters, and they will serve as the Joint Force Command for the Liberia mission.  The soldiers will coordinate all of the Department of Defense resources in Liberia to support United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the government of Liberia to contain the Ebola virus and, ultimately, save lives. Meanwhile, two additional mobile testing labs from the U.S. Government, which were flown into the country recently, have already been installed and are up and running at the Island Clinic ETU and in Bong County.The mobile testing labs are part of the U.S. efforts to help the Government of Liberia and other Ebola-affected countries contain the Ebola virus, save lives and alleviate human suffering. Other U.S. activities include setting up a logistics base to facilitate the flow of U.S. military personnel, supplies, and equipment into the affected region, helping to build 17 Ebola treatment units, and training hundreds of health care workers. USAID is the lead U.S. government agency overseeing the overall U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  The U.S. military response, led by Major General Darryl Williams, Commanding General of U.S. Army Africa is acting in support of the USAID-led Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). They are providing expertise in command and control, engineering and logistics, respectively.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

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