As Liberians from all walks of life embrace this year’s Independence Day which comes in the next three days, social activities that follow the ceremony, which usually include lots of food, drink and merry-making, and visiting friends and loved ones far and near, appear to be in full force. Already the market places are crowded with vendors, shoppers and hustlers anticipating the celebration and there seems a great deal of bustle about Greenville.
But at the venue of this year’s official celebration – Greenville, Sinoe County – the demand for accommodation (hotel), food and beverages, not to mention the availability of sufficient clothing at stores and market places, are yet to be met.
A tour by our reporter to Greenville’s downtown market and other parts of the city shows that there is still a low turn-out of buyers in the markets. Traders say most of Greenville’s guests have brought clothes for themselves and their relatives as well because there isn’t enough money and supply has been affected by the dollar rate. Besides, everyone wants something from Monrovia, which is where most of the Independence Day visitors are coming from.
Motorcycle is the only means of getting around Greenville, and charge at least L$20 for short distances, while at longer distances people are paying double or more.
In the markets, a pair of Jeans cost around US$15 and shoes go for about US$40.
Sinoe’s four main motels, which include Mississippi Inn, Greenville Inn, La Mode Motel and Think of Your Self, have all already been filled and residences are being converted into temporary motels. But more Interesting is that the Sinoe Multilateral High School has been shut down and is being used for additional accommodation.
There are just a handful of restaurants in Sinoe: Forum, Moonlight, Point and Mississippi Blues. All are always crowded, including Heritage Restaurant, which was only just established. Interestingly, there isn’t any “Lappa-be-door” (local parlance for cook-shop). Food is generally sold at L$250.
There are over four hand pumps in Greenville: Johnstone Street, Congo town, New Kru Town and others, but there aren’t any public toilets. So do your do before leaving your motel for the day, “or forever hold your peace”. One should remember that Mary T. Broh will be in Greenville and will not tolerate any malfeasance in the street.
The City is partly decorated, especially Greenville Broad Street, and ends at the J. Dominic Bing City Hall. There are few Liberian and Sinoe flags, which covered a quarter mile. The streets are also partially painted with green while most of the buildings, including the First International Bank (FIB), are yet to receive a new coat of paint.
Sinoe at night:
Forum remains the undisputed, top entertainment center. It closes at dawn; while the Point, Mississippi Blues and the Moonlight close usually between 11:00pm to 12 midnight.
Drinks are relatively cheap – a bottle of stout costs between L$150 and L$200. A “Large” (Club beer) goes for L$225, and a small beer, L$140. Heineken and Savanna Dry are sold for L$180. Non alcoholic drinks (soft drink) are L$100; Number 9 and other Liberian made alcoholic beverages are sold at L$100 while energy drinks are L$150.
Despite the difficult days for the July 26 celebration, general demand seems to be relatively picking up in accommodation, food and alcoholic beverages than anywhere else.
The latest data shows that the girls in Greenville, who are mostly seen at night, are mainly from Monrovia and other parts of the country.