-As Weah launches ‘Light up Monrovia’ Project
Residents of Peace Island in Congo Town, a suburb of Monrovia exploded in to jubilation Friday when President George Weah switched on electric power in the community, as he launched his administration’s “Light up Monrovia” Project.
The Peace Island is one of Monrovia’s largest squatters communities located behind the Ministerial Complex and home to mainly retired former soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia.
Like most parts of the city, the community has been without electricity for over a decade.
The lighting up ceremony was performed by President Weah along with the European Union Head of Delegation, Ambassador Laurent Delahousse who switched on hundreds of homes in the community.
The “Light Up Monrovia” is a Government of Liberia project funded by the 11th European Union Development Fund and the Monrovia Consolidation of Electricity Transmission and Distribution Project.Under the project, over 38,000 homes are expected to be electrified including the installation of 2,100 streetlights.
Speaking during the LUM commissioning ceremony held on the Peace Island, President Weah described the European Union as key and strategic partner to Liberia’s development and progress.
“I want to thank you, our partners and the European Union for your continuous support to the Government and people of this great nation,” Weah said, as he expressed delight over the cordial relationship existing between the Government of Liberia and the developmental partners including the European Union.
“By working together, we continue to forge ahead in delivering on the promise of the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) and positively changing the lives of the Liberian People,” he narrated.
President Weah explained that electricity is not a luxury but a necessity; something every home needs to improve the mood of people, create warm and bright ambience, as oppose to glooming and unattractive spaces.
“Light provides a sense of security and brings together family and communities,” President Weah opined as he emphasized the importance of light.
He admonished the residents of Peace Island against power theft, urging them to protect light poles and other installations in their communities.
“To whom much is given, much is expected. To my people of Peace Island, please pay your bills and avoid power theft,” Weah noted.
President Weah further instructed the ministers of Public Works and Finance and Development Planning to immediately begin paving the road leading to the Peace Island Community.
Also speaking, the Head of EU Delegation Ambassador Delahousse, expressing his delight of being part of the ceremony said the benefits of electricity are reaching a new part of society, together with the economic growth that power brings. He also emphasized its positive consequences for the promotion of social and human development for women and children.
Amb. Delahousse disclosed that the European Union is spending 63 million US Dollars on the Monrovia Consolidation of Electricity, as part of its support to the Liberian Government in its effort to provide electricity to all citizens.
“We understand the urgency and need for all Liberians to be connected to the grid as soon as possible. These kinds of works are very complex and they take time. I want to commend the speed at which this project was achieved, a mere 5 months after breaking ground in October last year”. Said Delahousse.
The EU Ambassador also warned of against illegal connection to the electrical grid saying, they are unjustifiable…“Stealing electricity is not only an offence punishable by law, it also puts in danger the lives of many, with the risk of explosions and fires caused by the illegal overloading of the grid. And when electricity comes, it will have to be paid for, so that LEC can bring electricity to more people.”
“We have heard your call that all projects from development partners should emphasize training and technical education. This project has already funded a traineeship and more than 40 young engineers, all Liberian girls and boys, have been trained by the contractor for 6 months during the execution of this project. Some of them have already secured stable employment.
Another significant aspect of this project resides in street lighting. I want to commend your Administration, Your Excellency, for bringing light to the streets of Monrovia. This is essential for security of women at night, for the security of families when they cross busy roads, for the security of traffic and that of businesses and that of communities. Power brings light that brings security.” He added.