10 January 2019

Liberia: Airfield Residents Plan Mass Demonstration to Demand Restoration of Electricity

Monrovia — Residents of Airfield Community have vowed to join the band of demonstrators, planning to protest in demand for electricity from the Liberia Electricity Cooperation (LEC).

According to residents, they have been out of electricity for several weeks after the transformer blow-off.

The residents told FrontPageAfrica they have written several communications to the management of LEC since the transformer was destroyed but to no avail.

Moses Kanmoon, one of the protest organizers, said "LEC do not like diplomacy and as such, the only language they respond to fast is protest".

"If our stakeholders in the community have engaged them on many occasions and no result, we need to move on the street like the way the people of Jallah Town, Sinkor, and Cadwell did and they got theirs. We can do the same since they are wasting time to come and restore our light," he said.

Jerry Kromah, another resident, said the planned protest will be stage on the Wroto Town - Sharks' Junction road.

"When we block that road for three days in row with our placards will grab the attention of the world and the world will know that LEC is a very unserious entity to depend on," he said.

He said the community spent both the Christmas and New Year in darkness since the their transformer went off.

"It is so shameful for a company like LEC to be careless to the extent of not being able to change a single transformer when we are buying our current every day, what do they want us to do before we can get our transformer back, we have no option but to stage a very serious protest," he explained.

The angry residents, however, failed to disclose the exact date it will hold the protest.

"We will not tell anybody about when we will stage that protest because when we tell them, the entire place will be flooded with PSU and ERU police officers, just how we are sleeping in darkness and cannot use the tokens we bought for our current, we will take them by surprise and we want the president to know how we have been treated by LEC," James Darkar another resident added.

The damage of the transformer in the community is also causing security threat in the area. Police depots in the area including the Salem Depot is without electricity.

One police officer, who prefer not to be named, told FrontPageAfrica that preventing crimes has become difficult for them on duty at night due to the lack of electricity.

"My brother, electricity is a security by itself but when the place is dark criminals take advantage of the situation to steal. Look, the other day Sharks Entertainment generator room was broken into and the lady generator battery was stolen, and that incident happened right near the police station, but we cannot speak up loud on these things because our bosses are listening," the officer said.

In early December 2018, aggrieved residents of Caldwell set up roadblocks and burned tires in the middle of the main road which leads to the Mount Coffee Hydro in protest over the failure of the LEC to supply them electricity.

The blockade left several commuters, including students and marketers stranded for more than five hours.

The Caldwell residents accused the LEC of marginalizing and discriminating against them while using their township as a transit point to supply other communities.

In Mid-December the LEC management embarked on the installation of 96 transformers across several communities in Monrovia and its environs.

Some of the communities that have benefited are Police Academy, PHP, Lover Street, Edwin Snowe Community in Paynesville, 14th and 20th Streets in Sinkor, Wroto Town and Lower New Georgia amongst others, the LEC said. It is unclear whether the management is considering the replacement of other damaged transformers in several affected communities.

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