New Democrat (Monrovia)

14 January 2013

Liberia: 10,000 Squatters Homeless

An estimated 10,000 squatters of a shanty community in West Point were rendered homeless on Sunday when they woke up in the early morning hours to a hefty noise of bulldozers pulling down their structures.

The demolition exercise is intended to pave the way for the construction of a large market hall to relocate marketers from the Majuah Market seated on the bank of the Gabriel Tucker Bridge, sources told our reporter.

Panic struck the squatters as bulldozers carried out indiscriminate demolition of their structures. Some residents of the Battlefield Community said indeed had been given an advance notice of eviction but were not expecting it the way it came.

There were wailing and weeping among the squatters and heavily armed police officers took position while the yellow machine brought down buildings and zinc shacks that have existed in the area for over 30 years.

Public Works officials said the move was being carried out because the area was situated within along the allay.

The flattening of the structures created fears in the minds of many residents of West Point who speculated that the exercise would affect them all.

"Oh God I think we who are residing in West Point are the next target because there have been rumors that government will evict us from wants West," one elderly man said.

But Public Works Samuel Kofi Woods told this paper last week that he was not aware of any eviction of the borough of West Point. "If there will be any demolition of West Point, it will not be under my watch."

An elderly woman believed to be in her 50s nearly fell into comma when she saw her building falling from the force of the yellow machine.

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