Its been crazy in the Western Seaboard of this part of the world with the latest crazy disease to threaten world civilisation after illiteracy; Ebola. Unfortunately for the Port Harcourt World Book Capital the city hosting the event is at the centre of the madness with Nigeria recently announcing one of the residents of that town died from the malady.
The Port Harcourt World Book Capital is a very important literary festival as it will be the first time that an Sub Saharan African city is hosting the UNESCO World Book Capital. It is also one of the rewards that the Africa 39 writers who had been selected earlier in the year would showcase their wares to each other. Then there’s Wole Soyinka who is set to look large at the event.
I email chatted with Chinedu Amah the head of Communications at Rainbow Foundation who manage the Unesco/Port-Hacourt World Book Capital 2014 and he informs me that for now they are continuing with activities as planned. Updates are being put out daily by relevant government agencies.
“I would like to use this medium to say that while we are careful and advise every other person to be, we are keeping ourselves informed of the status of this health concern, we are in touch with the Government of the State and we understand that all efforts are being made to control the situation,” he said via email. “We will update our expected guests and followers on our position on events.”
As it stands schools who are a part of the many programs are set to resume before the end of the month so they are going ahead with their activities.
So things are still on for you writes set to head out. If you can get flights there (I’m looking at you Kenyans)
Further communciation from the festival organisers on the upcoming festival
“In response to the concerns raised by some of our guests on the Ebola situation in Nigeria, we would like to give the following update:
According to the Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria, “as at 1800hrs on the 10th of September 2014, we have confirmed that Nigeria has no active case of Ebola virus disease. All known cases have been treated and discharged to go about their normal duties but will be monitored for a 7 week period. There are currently about 276 people under surveillance as primary and secondary contacts , within the next 10 day period they would have concluded the standard 21 days monitoring period, at that point it would be safe to declare Nigeria free of the disease.
To this end, citizens have been advised to go about their normal activities while still observing maximum sanitary standards and practises.”