The Township of Caldwell was yesterday a scene of chaos when residents took to the streets protesting having to go over two years without electricity in their area.
The residents, who blocked the major road in the area leaving motorists stranded, chanted ‘solidarity songs’ in unison as they created a traffic gridlock that lasted all day Monday.
But authorities of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) and the Liberia National Police (LNP) have called for a roundtable discussion between the leadership of the protesters and the LEC management to find a common ground to the protesters’ demand for power supply.
The protest also paralyzed commercial activities in the area as the protesters accused the erstwhile Unity Party government of not responding to their complaints over the years.
According to the protesters, they have on previous occasion paid bills for community supply of electricity to owners of generators, which they said is not ‘even dependable.’
One of the protesters, Fofee Karneh, said the residents have made several efforts to the LEC management over the lack of power supply, but to no avail.
Karneh accused the LEC of being insensitive to the plights of the residents, because he feels that the power outage in the community has negatively affected commercial activities in the area to the extent that many businesses are being affected.
He added, “We have been in total darkness for over two years now, and that the LEC has not responded to our plights.”
“Residents of other communities including those in some parts of Johnsonsville, New Kru Town, and as far as St. Paul Bridge are enjoying electricity, but for us in Caldwell, the story is totally different, and so we are pleading with the LEC to connect us,” Karneh said.
The road through Caldwell is one of the main economic hubs of the government, because it connects the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) and Mount Coffee Hydro in Louisiana with Monrovia.
Another resident said although Caldwell provides all the basic facilities that generate revenue for government, but people living there cannot access electricity.
One Mary Sheriff, who claims to be one of the brains behind the protest, said if government failed to quickly address their demand, they will reorganize as concerned group to stage a ‘peaceful demonstration,’ this time at the office of President upon his return to the country.
An 83 year old man who joined the young protesters wants to see power supply in the township “before I depart for the great beyond.”