In addition to the Legislative functions, Paul’s vision is to enhance, pass and support legislations, which promote the growth and development of Gbarpolu County, and the Republic of Liberia through initiatives and interventions that will facilitate and strengthen the following sectors:
Roads Network and Infrastructure Development for Investment and job creationThe impact of Liberia's 14-year civil war is still evidenced across every sector of the country. The war virtually devastated all modern infrastructures and completely disrupted the country's economic progress. Creating mass unemployment, poverty and devaluation of the Liberian economy. To rebuild Liberia’s war-ravaged economy and infrastructures, there is a need to review and make amendment to the 1986 Liberian Constitution to provide the protection and environment needed to support job creation, domestic and foreign investment at the County level. Political and Economic powers need to be decentralized from Monrovia to rural cities to encourage investment and job opportunities at various counties and cities level. In the midst of this is the development of feeders, farms-to-market and primary unpaved roads across the country. Prior to the civil crisis, Gbarpolu was one of few geographical areas in the country considered the “Nation’s Food Basket”, due to its rich fertile agriculture land. To recreate that status, Gbarpolu roads and transportation infrastructures have to be improved to attract investment opportunities that will bring job creation to the people of Gbarpolu. As a senator, my office will engage the relevant stakeholders to enhance the strategic plans that will bring the needed infrastructure development to Gbarpolu.
Developing and Strengthening Health Care SystemsAs a Senator representing Gbarpolu County, my office will prioritize building a robust healthcare infrastructure and health workforce capacity and capability necessary to provide and sustain high quality healthcare delivery system for residents of Gbarpolu County. As a career healthcare professional, bringing my experience in this background, I will lead a strategic team that will focus on enhancing laws and developing policies to address and prioritize three problem areas in the County’s healthcare system:
- Limited qualified health workers, significantly increasing the number of qualified health workers
- Health worker’s shortage, optimizing the distribution of health workers around the county; and
- Poorly functioning health systems, improving health worker productivity to improve health quality.
The shortage of qualified health workers, in addition to many other factors, have worsens the health situation for rural counties farther away from Monrovia. The gross underdevelopment of the limited infrastructure and high unemployment rates in the county, have largely contributed to the huge rural to urban migration that have carried most of Gbarpolu’s professionals to Monrovia and other urban cities. In addition, rural counties like Gbarpolu often benefits the least of national government’s resource allocation, especially in sectors of healthcare and education. To address some of these issues, my office will prioritize promoting robust policies and programs that will significantly increase the number of health workforce in Gbarpolu.
As a priority, my office will introduce legislations that will increase primary healthcare budget at local (District and County) level to incentivize the distribution of trained doctors at local clinics and hospitals around the country. My office will work with the relevant stakeholders to ensure the development of an integrated health system, which will ensure that all citizens whether in urban or rural areas, employed or unemployed are able to get healthcare at the District and County level. Such health systems will focus on:
- Sustainability: building community capacity to assume ownership and participation in health development and service provision
- Increasing uptake and utilization of health services, ensuring adequate decentralization of health facilities
- Promoting laws that will create effective and affordable people-centered health services
- Ensuring consistent community action towards health promotion and disease prevention to ensure equitable health outcomes
- Developing a robust referral system (from the community, regional, then national referral hospitals)
- Ensuring all private institutions provide employees the package of essential health services regardless of their ability to pay.
Improving Education SystemsGbarpolu is considered one of least developed counties in Liberia (UNDP 2017). The County has one of the lowest high school enrolment and graduation (66% enrolment, 36% graduation) rates in the Country annually, compared to national average (UNESCO, 2016). Other issues such as the increasing high school dropout rates; the lack of technical vocational education and training and tertiary education or higher institution of learning; required for the development and increase of the county human resource capacity are prevailing situations that must we must address. Improving the county’s primary and secondary education system, and further providing the opportunity for TVET or tertiary education, would strengthen the educational system and increase the human capacity needed to contribute to development of Garpolu County.
To transform Liberia from its current stagnated state, we must consider building a generation of highly trained professionals such as engineers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc., with the requisite career skills and integrity to keep the wheels of development running in our country.
As a priority, my office will develop and support legislations and policies that will focus on improving youth education and training in Gbarpolu. A particular emphasis will be placed on the establishment and introduction of Science Mathematics Engineering and Technology Programs, in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Programs; Community Colleges and Tertiary education programs in Gbarpolu. Those programs will be tailored to addressing Gbarpolu human capacity and development needs. Other aspects of such programs will focus on developing support programs including; housing, transportation and other benefits or incentives that will attract qualified and professional teachers to the Gbarpolu County. With key emphasis and considerations on the following issues:
- Women education and skills development programs
- Affordable, Accessible and Attractive education program for youth
- Community awareness and engagement for educational support
- Cultural Education, Tourism and training Programs
- Increased budgetary allocation for educational support and scholarship programs
- Establishment of budgetary allocations for introduction of STEM Programs in schools in Gbarpolu County.
Agricultural Development and Income GenerationThe future of Gbarpolu and Liberia, if such must be self-reliance, productive and economically sustainable, will largely depend on farming, animal rearing, corps production, irrigation and storage of products and other domestic and industrious agriculture framework and implementation. Engaging the relevant stakeholders to develop and improve the agriculture sector in Gbarpolu is a high ranking priority item on our agenda for reducing poverty and economically empowering Gbarpolu Citizens and Residents. Keen attention will be given to policies that will prioritize:
- Promote and facilitate citizens in identifying farmland for cooperative farming
- Investing in value addition machinery to improve produce market value
- Enabling citizens to procure, own and provide tools and equipment for local farmer capacity enhancement to increase production and supply
- Supporting legislation that provide tax breaks and government subsidize for farmers and local investors to engage in local food processing, packaging and storage.
- Identifying local, national and international market place for trade and exchange of produces for fair and improve market value
- Improving road and transportation infrastructure/system that will link produces to market and facilitate the movement of logistics to farms and agriculture areas.