Liberia: Cheesemanburg Residents Upset

-over abandoned prison project

Residents of Cheesemanburg Township, Montserrado County are outrage over what they claim abandonment of a central prison construction project in the area. A resident of the township Boika Molly, explains that during the regime of Ex-president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, residents provided 35 acres of land to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to construct a new prison facility for the area.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reportedly contributed US$300, 0000.00 (Three Hundred Thousands United States Dollars) while the former Sirleaf administration provided US$200, 000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) when the project started.

However, Boika disclosed that to their surprise, the Ministry of Justice allegedly abandoned the project after elevation of two of the structures that form part of the prison facilities, leaving it to be overtaken by huge bush.

He says residents of the township did not give the land to the Ministry of Justice to be left at the mercy of trees and bushes, but rather to be developed, which is not happening.

The 35 acres of land is situated in central Cheesemanburg, adjacent the main car road leading to the township. The reported abandonment gives the area a bad look, which is currently covered in by bush and trees.

He calls on the Ministry of Justice to provide reasons for abandoning the construction project, noting that the land will not be there without it being developed in line with agreement entered into with the residents.

The project for the Cheesemanburg prison compound was reached after former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf observed the Monrovia Central Prison Compound, the government's maximum detention center in South Beach community, Center Street is overcrowded.

When the Commissioner of Cheesemanburg Township, Thomas Cassell, was contacted via mobile phone on the issue, he requested this paper to give him some time to investigate the matter before making any comment.

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