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Liberia news

Hydro contractors raise hope

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says the ongoing Mount Coffee Hydropower project is “just absolutely so pleasing,” after foreign engineers briefed her that the first turbine would be turned on, on December 16 this year, and the second in mid 2017.

“And our hydro is just absolutely so pleasing because we were here in December. There were somethings going on but today we can really see now that when we say big lights tomorrow, tomorrow is almost at hand,” Mrs. Sirleaf said outside the hydropower plant Tuesday, 16 August.

The Mount Coffee Hydropower Project Director working with Liberia Electricity Corporation’s project implementation unit (PIU), Mr. Bill Hakin had said one of the most important features of the project is ensuring that Liberians can maintain and operate the facility within the next five years period.

Already, he says training is ongoing in Zambia, and that further training will continue in Europe and the US as well.

President Sirleaf told journalists that she was very pleased at the end of a day – long tour of projects including the Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant, the ongoing construction of additional 70 housing units at NASSCORP Village in Brewerville and the proposed home for relocated West Pointers in the VOA community.

The 70 new housing units in Brewerville are being constructed in addition to the 56 units already occupied by Liberians after being dedicated by President Sirleaf in December 2015. President Sirleaf said she was particularly pleased that those who live in the VOA Community accepted the relocated West Pointers and that they have integrated as one big family, though she admits that there is still room to improve their conditions.

After local authorities assured President Sirleaf Tuesday that additional land would be made available today, Wednesday, 17 August for relocated West Pointers to make gardens, the President later told journalists that government will work with the Agriculture Ministry to provide tools to enable resident start planting.

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“The idea is to stop them from being totally dependent and to enable them to grow their own food,” she said, noting that the people were pleased about it. Over 300 residents along with some 300 children from West Point near Central Monrovia are said to have relocated at the VOA proposed home so far, after years of continuous erosion that has seen homes destroyed.

Residents of the proposed West Point Township in VOA lined up and expressed appreciation to President Sirleaf, assuring her that they were pleased to be relocated and that they would not return to their old community.

They had only pleaded for food, school and health facility for their children, as some complained that they had no business or husband to help them.-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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