27 January 2014

Liberia: Hydro Rehabilitation Is Product of Bold Leadership

Photo: Liberia Government
Remains of the looted Mt. Coffee Hydro Plant outside Monrovia.

Monrovia — Finance Minister Amara Konneh said last Saturday's launch of the Mt. Coffee Rehabilitation Project marked the high point of efforts by the Sirleaf Administration to bring relief to the Liberian people by jumpstarting the economy.

Moreover, he said, the project, considered an important centerpiece of the President's flagship development agenda - the “Agenda for Transformation” - was an outcome of her bold leadership.

“The groundbreaking [ceremony] of the Mount Coffee hydro rehabilitation project is an important step to bringing power to more people, across the country. Part-funded by significant investment from the Government of Liberia and a key element of its public sector investment strategy, it will mean a boost to businesses and light manufacturing industries, increasing employment opportunities," Minister Konneh said.

He said the government of Liberia has infused roughly US $45 million into the energy sector, describing the plant as a key development priority of President Sirleaf.

“It is very important that we do all we can to ensure Mount Coffee is a success even if we have to cut foreign travels, gas, starch cards and recurrent spending and save money to invest in project like these,” the Finance boss said.

He continued, “For those of our people who need to understand the extent to which this country was destroyed and the bold step we are taking to have our infrastructure revitalized, come to Mount Coffee.”

Also making remarks at the occasion, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has described as “a really good day for Liberia”, the commemorative launch, on Saturday January 25, 2014, of the Mount Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project.

During the launch, President Sirleaf thanked international partners and government ministers, as well as members of the National Legislature, who worked to make the launch a reality.

She noted that government would continue to promote the collective spirit of being able to get things done, not only for the hydro, but also for all the many development activities that are ongoing across the country.

The Liberian chief executive made the assertion Saturday during programs marking the official launch and unveiling of the Mount Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project in White Plains, Harrisburg Township, Montserrado County.

The President also noted that besides the hydro, the river in the area would be able to attract tourists to engage in fishing following the completion of the rehabilitation works, thereby helping to create jobs for people residing in the area.

She recalled that when she visited the Mount Coffee Power Plant in 2007, the road leading to the site was in a deplorable condition, noting that the condition was not the same today.

President Sirleaf added that during her visit to the site in 2007, she saw the old turbines and grids intact, but that regrettably when she went back there in 2010, these things had disappeared. The Liberian leader has, therefore, instructed the Commissioner of the Township of Harrisburg, Samuel Miller, to work with people working at the site to ensure that the materials that will be installed do not disappear.

The Mount Coffee Hydro Power Plant, which was built in 1966, was damaged during the Liberian civil conflict in the 1990s. It is now being rehabilitated by the Government of Liberia at a cost of US $250 million and is expected to be completed in December 2015.

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