The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has lauded the Journalism Community and friends of the Liberian media who have contributed to a fund drive intended to support quarantined journalists at the Voice of Tappita in Nimba County.
Journalists Clarence Jackson, Roland Mulbah and Dioda Wreh of the Press Union of Liberia Friday rallied the public and journalists under the auspices of the PUL leadership which resulted to over five hundred United states dollars being raised to cater to the well being of journalists at the rural radio station.
More than one hour of the OK Morning Rush dedicated to the fund drive witnessed Liberians of different income brackets making contributions fervently toward the upkeep of journalists of Voice of Tappita. The journalists have spent six of the mandated twenty one days period for isolation.
Voice of Tappita is the only radio station in the Tappita Administrative District of Nimba. Its broadcast is pivotal in the fight against COVID-19 in the area.
The Radio Station was threatened with closure after one of its employees tested positive for coronavirus nearly a week ago.
Journalists at the Voice of Tappita declined being quarantined with family members of Don Patrick, the COVID deceased index case in Nimba County at a motel on grounds that the designated group was at high risk.
Twelve journalists including a female reporter, Arkina Gaye have spent six hash nights in mandatory quarantined outside the Voice of Tappita while fulfilling their duties to their local community by keeping the radio on air.
One employee of Voice of Tappita was allowed to self quarantined because he is diabetic.
Moreover, the Press Union of Liberia is encouraging all of its auxiliaries: Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL), Reporters Association of Liberia (RAL), Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL), Publishers Association and media outlets to join the Union’s concerted fundraising efforts. The PUL is working with Internews-Liberia to complement the emergency undertaking of the Journalism Community in Liberia.
The Journalists have been in quarantine without food and other support from the health authorities and other central government in Monrovia.
The Journalists are being fed by the community while some continue to sleep on the floor due to the lack of mattresses.
Meanwhile, the County Health Officer of Nimba County has admitted to the inability of the government to honor its responsibility by providing food and other needed materials for the quarantine Journalists as is done for those in Monrovia.
Doctor Philip Saah attributed the situation to the lack of financial support to the County Health Team by the Ministry Health for those quarantined or tested positive of the Virus.
At the same-time, the Press Union of Liberia has launched a National Emergency Fund for Journalists in the wake of the Coronavirus.
The Union asserted that the fund will be primarily used to take care of Journalists and media Institutions to avoid the recurrence of the hardships being endured by Journalists at the Voice of Tappita.
The Union of Liberia is therefore calling on all Liberians including international partners to support the emergency fund for Journalists by donation in Cash and kind.