-Caldwell Residents Demand
Aggrieved residents of District #15 in Montserrado County, particularly the Township of Caldwell, outside Monrovia, on Monday, Dec. 3, took to the streets, protesting the Liberia Electricity Corporation’s failure to provide them electricity.
The residents, who were chanting solidarity songs, blocked the main road to the township, preventing workers, school children and other residents from leaving the township for almost five hours.
But the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Township Commissioner were able to put the situation under control. The LNP made several arrests.
The protest also paralyzed commercial activities in the area as the protesters accused the company of marginalizing them and using Caldwell as a transit point for other communities.
According to the protesters, they had, on the previous occasions, paid several bills for community supply of electricity to owners of generators, which they said is not “even dependable.”
“We have planned this action because we are tired with the plenty lies from LEC, every time they will tell us that current will be in Caldwell before Christmas and today is December 3, we are not seeing anything like crossing wires,” the protesters said.
One of the protesters, Mohammed Doe, told the Daily Observer that they have made several appeals to the LEC management over the lack of power supply, but to no avail.
Mr. Doe further accused the LEC of being insensitive to the plights of the residents, because he feels that the lack of power in the community has negatively affected commercial activities in the area.
He added, “We have been in total darkness for over five years, and the LEC has not responded to our plights but every time they will promise us that current will be in Caldwell very soon.”
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 the government, the people who are living there don’t benefit from electricity.
Nimbo Browne, Caldwell and New Georgia youth chairman, told this newspaper that if authorities of the LEC cannot electrify Caldwell they will continue the protest.
He called on President George Weah to quickly intervene. “We are tired of sleeping in darkness and we will not rest until Caldwell is finally electrified.”
Caldwell Township Commissioner, Francis Woods, who helped to calm the situation, called on the protestors to disengage the protest and channel all concerns to his office, because depriving others from going about their normal activities freely is against the law.
He said his office is working with the LEC management to address their concerns in the District, including running water and electricity.
He urged the protesters not to use violence as a means to call on the government’s attention, because his office is already engaging authorities of LEC to electrify Caldwell.
However, according to Commissioner Woods, in a previous meeting with representatives of the LEC, they promised to electrify the Township of Caldwell before December 25, 2018. He said the leadership of the LEC apologized for the delay and told them that the LEC was having some problems with donors but everything is settled and very soon the LEC will start wiring the township.