Bali Island, surrounded by the Mesurado River and projected for a proposed New Monrovia City faces its first environmental test here.
The Liberian government through the Ministry of Public Works applies to the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct soil and other technical tests to establish whether the island is suitable for the construction of a modern conference center, technical college, hotel and other facilities as recently projected by President George Manneh Weah.
According to credible information gathered by this paper, Public Works Minister, Atty. Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan submitted an application to the EPA head offices in Monrovia on Wednesday, 4th April for the sole purpose of carrying on the test.
President Weah recently toured the Bali Island, which situates in the middle of the Mesurado River. The river flows through Monrovia directly under the Gabriel J. Tucker Bridge and the King Duma Bridge both overlooking the commercial district of Bushrod Island.
The President, according to a recent press release, intends to transform Bali Island into a send capital city, commencing with the construction of a state-of-the-art international conference center and other standardized structures.
President Weah, accompanied by First Lady Clar Weah and several government officials made a boat-ride assessment tour of the island, and commended Liberians for giving him the opportunity to lead the country and bring about transformations or development.
“While coming up as a child, growing up in Clara Town, on Bushrod Island; playing just across the shores of the Stockton Creek; I often looked into the direction of the Bali Island, viewed an undeveloped tourist attraction,” President Weah recounted.
“I wondered what was going on there. I did not know anyone who knew what was going on there. There was no road, no bridge, or ferry to get over here”, he recollected from his childhood memories.
President Weah’s vision is to see the island develop, a dream, which he notes was conceived from that moment, saying, “From here, I began to see a new city of Monrovia emerging from the ashes of the old city of Monrovia.”
He envisages skyscrapers, office buildings, shopping malls, banks, insurance companies, night clubs, beautiful lights and magnificent colors on the Island.
“I saw a happy and prosperous people, going about their businesses, meeting and greeting each other,” the release says.
The 4000-seat Conference Hall, according to the President, will be named after the late Indian Prime Minister, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Government of India will fund project. Perhaps this is why the Indian Consul General to Liberia, Upjit Jetty, accompanied President Weah and his officials to the site during the assessment exercise.
But public reactions to the President’s proposal are mixed with some criticizing that the piece of land is environmentally unsuitable for habitation, pointing out threats to wildlife conservation and the need for conservation.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne