The Chinese Embassy near Monrovia has dedicated 18 solar energy street lamps, a borehole well for the Jorkpen Town Market, and classroom materials for the Rally Time Market School.
These items were made available through companies that include the Wonderful New Energy Industry Company (Liberia) Inc., Zhongmei Engineering Group Ltd. and LC Opportunity Nature Resources Company in collaboration with the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund (SMWF).
The lights now brighten the Jorkpen Town Market environment while the hand pump, located in the back yard, provides a much needed source of water for marketers and those living around the market grounds.
Speaking at the dedicatory program on March 20, on the Jorkpen Town Market grounds in Sinkor, Monrovia, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue said that it was a delightful moment for him to attend a program that creates interaction between the Chinese Community in Liberia and local grass rooters.
He noted that the Chinese companies that provided these facilities are committed to a one-year warranty for what they donated and to the training of seven Liberian technicians on how to maintain the solar lamps.
Recalling China’s role in Liberia’s post-war development, Ambassador Zhang said, “China has developed a steadfast and cooperative partnership with Liberia in its endeavor to promote peace and development. The Chinese Government through its embassy in Liberia, and in collaboration with the Liberian Government has completed many landmark assistance projects in Liberia such as the Tappita Hospital, Fendell Campus, SKD Stadium and the Ministry of Health compound.”
He also acknowledged that the dedicated facilities came under the framework of the China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action.
Making remarks at the occasion President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the gesture by the Chinese Embassy was indeed laudable as it was something she had yearned to see happen.
She emphasized that the hand pump was especially important to the Jorkpen Town Market since marketers and locals had previously found it difficult to get water.
Once a market woman herself, later becoming a politician and subsequently President, Madam Sirleaf said, “The hand pump is important to the marketers since water is life itself and greatly improves sanitation. Now that light is here as well, marketers will be able to work in the evenings and then pack their goods when darkness ‘catches’ them.”
She thanked the Chinese Embassy for the gesture and assured further mutuality in the relationship between China and Liberia.
The Chinese Embassy’s gesture is being praised mostly by women; who constitute the highest number of sellers in the market.
Most of the market women are single mothers, who take their children with them because they have no caretakers to meet the needs of their children while they sell in the market. In some instances the children help their mothers to sell the products.
Some of these children are not privileged to attend school; therefore, the Liberian Marketing Association (LMA) established a school in the Jorkpen Town and Rally Town Market.
The school materials provided by the Chinese Embassy complement efforts made to create educational opportunities for marketers’ children.