President George Manneh Weah has switched on street lights in Monrovia and its surroundings, describing the lighting of the streets after several decades as “monumental” to the government’s development drive, despite some criticisms from the opposition.
During the ceremony on Friday, 5 February, Mr. Weah warned that unscrupulous individuals bent on destroying national installations, such as the street lights, risk arrest and prosecution. His predecessor Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf switched on small lights in parts of Monrovia few months after she took office in 2006, as she had promised ‘Big Lights Tomorrow.’
Efforts by Mrs. Sirleaf’s regime to restore electricity in the country attracted international support that saw Liberia’s Mount Coffee Hydro power plant which had been in ruin following the 14 years civil war come on once more.
While residents in the capital have struggled with power supply, they have also yearned for street lights to help reduce the high level of insecurity at the hands of criminals and accidents when commuting during late hours.
In a brief remark before formally switching on the street lights on the Bushrod Island, President Weah called on every citizen to own and ensure the protection of the poles. “Those who are unscrewing these poles must desist from such behavior as there would be tougher actions if they are caught”, he cautions.
Mr. Weah discloses that the project will be extended to the outskirts of Monrovia for the benefit of all. He also indicates that the government is determined to take the project to each and every county of Liberia.
“Let there be light,” the President says, mimicking the Biblical command, as he switches on the lights on the Bushrod Island. The process was also simultaneously carried out by Senator Saah Joseph of Montserrado County and City Mayor Jefferson Koijee for other parts of the city.
The street lighting project was initiated last year when President Weah switched on the first phase covering the ELWA junction to Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Boulevard in Paynesville.