The NEWS (Monrovia)

6 January 2014

Liberia: Electricity Should Be Given Attention This Year

editorial

Electricity Is Perhaps the most important aspect of development that Liberia needs now. It's so urgent that the country's progress is dependent upon the restoration of electricity. The government has asserted that the Mount Coffee Hydropower would be ready by January 2015. Liberians and other individuals are enthusiastic to see the full restoration of electricity that has eluded them for decades.

The Restoration Of the Mount Coffee Hydropower should have been amongst the earliest plan of the government rather than focusing on trifling issues that have not impacted on the people. Electricity is the fulcrum of the country's development, and in the absence of such, an important component of its development agenda, Liberia would remain insipid and unattractive for multinational investments.

Electricity Can Provoke investment that leads to economic growth and employment opportunities for our citizens. It is an important development agenda that will help to open up the country and eradicate poverty, disease and illiteracy. This is why we are encouraging the government to give electricity the attention it deserves.

Too Much Time and energy have been consumed on other aspects of development that have made little or no impact on the lives of our people. However, we believe that giving attention to electricity will be profoundly rewarding.

Eight Years Into the administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, some Liberians think that the government has done little while others think it has done nothing at all. For us, we acknowledge some of the positive developments, however, the Unity Party government is still obliged to fulfill its portion of the social contract or else, there would be resentment amongst the people.

Liberians Are Bitter about the government's handling of domestic issues including electricity and unemployment. These are important issues, but electricity must be accentuated because of the security and economic significance. In this modern era, our country cannot continue to remain the dimmest country in the world; hence something must be done at all cost. The President's promise of small light today, big light tomorrow must be quashed because it does not address the real issue of electricity.

Consistent With The promise of the Liberian government to rehabilitate and complete the Mount Coffee Hydropower dam by January 2015, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) and Dawnus International Ltd., an international civil engineering and construction company based in the United Kingdom, have signed a contract to carry out the Enabling Works for the Mount Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project. The agreement was signed on December 19, 2013, in Monrovia. The contract includes the urgent civil works to be accomplished on the project in advance of the main construction works, which include the construction of two cofferdams, construction of the advanced camp, removal of vegetation from the project infrastructure, and cleaning of the powerhouse.

The Purpose Of the enabling works is to allow access and inspection of the submerged parts of the hydropower plant structures. It will also provide a safe working environment and temporary living conditions at the site for workers when construction starts. The work will also include implementation of a standard penetration tests (SPT) to analyze soil conditions in the areas where the transmission line towers will be erected.

We Welcome This initiative which we believe should have been amongst the first issues on the agenda of the Liberian government in 2006. Nevertheless, the government can achieve this development program if it accentuates the importance of power in this contemporary era. It is our hope that electricity will be given serious attention this year.

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