News / Africa

Liberia Tries to Ease Ebola Burial Logjam

FILE - Health workers carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kenema, Sierra Leone.
FILE - Health workers carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kenema, Sierra Leone.
James Butty

Liberian officials say they are working hard to correct problems resulting in a backlog of the collection and burial of Ebola-related bodies.

Some local media reports say an overwhelmed healthcare system has led to bodies being dumped in some communities and left unburied for days.  

One report said as many as 37 bodies were found Sunday in one of the boroughs of the capital, Monrovia. The situation has reportedly led to protests in some communities.

Liberia’s Information Minister, Lewis Brown, said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ordered cremation of Ebola-related bodies to ease the logjam.

“We’re pleased that people are beginning to follow the directives of the government not to bury their own.  What we’re getting is resistance, even from the communities in which they resided. And, therefore, it has caused a backlog and slow pace at which retrieval teams have been in action,” he said.

Part of the reason for the resistance, according one account, is that residents fear the bodies could contaminate the local drinking water.

Brown said Sirleaf has ordered the cremation of Ebola-infected bodies to relieve the burial bottleneck. He said that although cremation is foreign to Liberian culture, it is necessary as the government tries to contain the deadly virus.

He also said the government has established a community outreach taskforce to inform communities about the Ebola disease and how they can protect themselves.

Brown also said the government has begun to address the logjam on Ebola hotlines.

“They had hotlines from at least two of the major GSM service providers. On Sunday, we entered into additional arrangement to increase each number to be able to accommodate an additional 30 lines,” Brown said.

Brown said his government continues to appeal for help from the international community because it fears the situation could get worse before it gets better.

The World Bank announced Monday it is providing $200 million to help fight the Ebola outbreak. The WHO last week announced a $100 million emergency plan in conjunction with the three affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rose brown from: America
August 16, 2014 1:48 AM
And pls try hard to get ebola out of our country it killing people. Not even ebola but when u are sick nobody wants to touch u because they are afair of ebola u guys raedy need to try hard to make liberia a better place to live

by: Rose brown from: America
August 16, 2014 1:42 AM
Why when ebola came first to liberia the president did not do any thing. Why because it was not serious it was not killing people now some people are stuck in difference country they can not go back home or to they family or go to school.Do u want for people to change school so they can not learn anything to be like u to miss use power like u.

by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
August 06, 2014 10:45 AM
rights rights and duties save the small communities Liberian

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs