A 16-year-old, Darlingboy Philips, dubbed ‘Dad’ was crushed to death when he accidentally fell from a low-belt truck this past Saturday, amid rejoicing over Grand Bassa County’s triumph in the National County Meet after 24 years of title-drought.The truck, with the inscription ‘Grand Bassa County Development Fund,’ rolled over the lad and crushed his chest and smashed his skull near the entrance of the Doris Williams Sports Stadium.He had slipped while he and friends were hanging on the vehicle’s tail-end after the program when the car was leaving the Doris Williams Sports Stadium.That celebration in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County, marked the official celebration of the county’s two trophies won in the 2013/2014 National County Meet.The teenager’s accidental death was linked to connection of ‘neejee’ activities.In Liberia ‘neejee,’ is usually interpreted as witchery and is always generally associated with the people of Grand Bassa County.The Traffic Coordinator of the Grand Bassa Police Detachment, Inspector Stephen B. Kpoeh, told the Daily Observer Sunday morning that Darlingboy died instantly after he was run over by the truck on Saturday. He had been pronounced dead after he was rushed to the Liberian Government Hospital in Buchanan.Inspector Kpoen said the truck driver, Samuel Barlingar, 48, has been investigated and is being detained by Police to avoid ‘unnecessary’ mob violence.He disclosed that from the preliminary investigations, Driver Barlingar is not guilty, in accordance with Section 10.107 of the Police’s Traffic Law of Liberia; the late Darlingboy was hitching a ride without the driver’s knowledge.Section 10.107 of the Police Traffic Law, under the subtitle Soliciting Rides, reads: “No person shall stand on any roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride and from the driver of any vehicle.”The Chief of Traffic of Grand Bassa Police Detachment, Inspector Allen Suah, told the Daily Observer, that after a conference with Grand Bassa’s Superintendent Etweda Cooper, they instructed the family to bury the body yesterday (Sunday), because the county is not responsible for the boy’s death and burial. They promised to send a representative to meet with the family afterwards.The late Darlingboy was laid to rest the day after his death (Sunday) due to his severe injuries.The deceased was a 3rd grade student of Lower Hardlandsville Public School and was helping to support his family through the sale of used clothes.Darlingboy was the oldest of four sons from his parents, who are both alive. He was living with his uncle, Alphonso Philips, in Jeko’s Town, Buchanan. His parents are Timothy and Sundaymae Philips, and they are living in the interior with the deceased’s brothers.Mr. Robert Guah, a relative of the late Darlingboy expressed disappointment and frustration over the absence of county authorities and members of the Grand Bassa Legislative Caucus, up to the time of burial.Meanwhile, friends from Jeko’s Town have expressed their condolences to the bereaved family; they urged the family to investigate the death of Darlingboy, which they described as mysterious.“How come out of ten people hanging from the truck, he alone fell and was killed instantly? There must be something behind it,” a man only identified as Nyensuah stated.According to Nyensuah, about three weeks ago, one Ben Roberts met a similarly mysterious death. “We think that it is not normal; there must be witch or neeje activities behind them; we know it is all happening because elections are around the corner,” Nyensuah lamented.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
In his fifth annual letter, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, highlights how setting clear goals and accurate measurement are key to improving the lives of poor people around the globe.Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visits a health clinic in Lucknow, India that provides prenatal and child health care services. “I know, it’s not the sexiest of themes, but the proof of its impact is undeniable,” Gates wrote. “The lives of the poorest have improved more rapidly in the last 15 years than ever before.”Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, work with students at South High School in Denver, Colorado. The letter describes remarkable progress from schools in the United States to health care in Ethiopia and makes the case that continued investments in these efforts have made a measurable difference for millions of the world’s poorest people. A core reason was the world’s commitment to setting clear goals and identifying the right measures to drive progress towards those goals.Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visits an agricultural facility in Adama, Ethiopia that processes and ships beans and chickpeas to European markets. This is particularly true in the case of foreign aid. “Historically, aid was largely discussed in terms of the total amount of money invested. Now that we’re more precisely measuring indicators like child mortality, people are able to see the impact aid has in stark terms—that it’s the difference between putting people on AIDS treatment or letting them die,” Gates states in the letter.He goes on to emphasize the importance of this, given tight budgets around the world. “Not only do clear goals and measures allow governments to spend their aid money more efficiently, it builds the political will to continue funding aid programs by proving how successful they are. It’s not just about governments giving other governments taxpayer money; it’s about one community helping another raise itself out of poverty.”Gates emphasizes the importance of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as an example of how the world is capable of achieving really big things when we come around a clear goal and develop the measurements to gauge progress. The MDGs are a set of eight specific goals that are an unprecedented global effort to meet the needs of the world’s poorest by 2015. “While we won’t reach all of the goals, the progress we’ve made toward each is staggering,” said Gates. “The MDG target of reducing extreme poverty by half has been reached ahead of the deadline, as has the goal of halving the proportion of people who lack access to safe drinking water.”As the world looks ahead, Gates has encouraged others to submit their ideas for how to improve the world for the next generation by sharing their hopes for 2030. He hopes to spur a global conversation about effective development and how the world should best come together to achieve further progress for the world’s poorest people.The letter outlines other key priorities for the foundation in 2013, including helping to eradicate polio, reducing the number of child deaths, increasing access to contraceptives, and improving education in the United States. Gates also announced the second Gates Vaccine Innovation Award winner, praising the innovative work of Margarida Matsinhe, a field officer for VillageReach, who has been instrumental in overhauling the vaccine logistics system by removing obstacles that prevent children from getting immunized.To read the full letter, click here: www.gatesfoundation.org/annualletter.