The Government of Liberia is appealing for the return of investors, companies and contractors that halted operations and left the country due to the Ebola crisis, reminding that “the period of forced-manjure” has ended.
Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale, told a recent Development Alliance meeting chaired by President Johnson-Sirleaf that Liberia now has “excess beds”, as vehicles are coming and burial teams can quickly pull out sick people that need medication.
“…Because of the intervention by our government and the people who have come to help us, we think that the disease is going down”, he told the LDA meeting in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, 5 November.
As the Government solicits private companies’ support, President Sirleaf says a long period of time has passed and Liberia’s climate only allows six months of work in the energy and infrastructure areas per year, which she fears the country risks losing entirely if work is not done timely this dry season.
“And so we’re going to need their support and say the period of force-manjure has ended, and you need to come back to work. Here some protocols would need to be agreed to provide sufficient protection for you, but you need to come back to work,” she pleaded.
Several concession companies and bilateral cooperation with friendly governments suspended activities following the Ebola outbreak here. During the meeting, authorities from the Ministry of Public Works said a lot of road projects across the country were being implemented by contractors, but got stalled at certain point due to the Ebola outbreak that scared companies away.
Notwithstanding, Liberia’s Lands, Mines and Energy Minister, Patrick Sandolo, has warned that “we’re in a very, very precarious situation” as it relates to energy generation, informing the gathering that a lot of generators that are in place here have “out-lived” their usefulness.
He urged that government to focus on ensuring that the Liberia Electricity Corporation or LEC “is put back on track,” and also recommended the need to re-organize the energy department and invest more in the private sector.