President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has reiterated her government’s commitment to providing full electricity to all parts of Liberia before leaving office next year, disclosing that the first 10 megawatt of power has been brought into the country, which is currently providing electricity to 23,000 citizens including 1000 residents in the slum community of West Point.
Delivering her 11th Annual Message to the 5th Session of the Liberian Legislature sitting in joint chambers Monday, 25 January President Sirleaf said by June this year, another 10 megawatt will arrive to boost power while rehabilitation work on the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant in White Plain, Montserrado County is in progress and will be completed and operational by 2017.
Article 58 of the Constitution of Liberia mandates the President to address the Legislature on the fourth working Monday in January of each, presenting the Legislative Agenda for the new year and state of the economy, including revenue intake and expenditure.
She also spoke of an additional 12.6 megawatt for three counties –Margibi, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount while the West Africa Power Pool project that brings together Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) is restoring power to rural parts of the country with Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Rivercess counties being the next target to benefit electricity.
Despite the provision of gradual power, sustained and affordable electricity remains a major challenge to the economy without which the manufacture industry would not take off in the post-Ebola nation.
Meanwhile, PresidentSirleaf said government has increased health facilities across the country from 354 to 712 with a government-run hospital in each of the 15 counties besides a total of 225 privately-run hospitals.
She said also a result of concerted efforts in the health sector, malarial rate has reduced from 68 percent to 23 percent while maternal mortality is down from 30 to 7 percent. Madam Sirleaf said government is determined to restore the John F. Kennedy Hospital to national referral health center.
-By Jonathan Browne