Protest Awaits LEC in Caldwell

February 2018: A protester with placard demanding the utility company provide services to Caldwell.

Residents of Caldwell have again resolved to stage another mass protest that would virtually bring normal activities in the township to a standstill.

This planned action, according to residents, is intended to once again call government’s attention to what they considered as gross injustice meted against them.

This comes after authorities at the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) have practically failed to make true their earlier promise to the residents that their neighborhoods would be electrified before the July 26 Independence Day holiday.

Caldwell Residents, in February this year, staged a protest that even turned chaotic and paralyzed normal activities in the township all because they have allegedly been denied access to electricity, which they considered a basic necessity, in their area for the past few years.

The residents, who at the time blocked the major road in the area leaving motorists stranded, argued that it was grossly unfair for the Mount Coffee Hydro to be in the vicinity of Caldwell and not supply the township with electricity.

Earlier this year: Protesters want their demand addressed or else, “we will continue to barricade the road.”

But Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) and the Liberia National Police (LNP) then called for a roundtable discussion between the leaders of the protest and the LEC management to find a common ground and address the protesters’ demand for power supply.

Unfortunately, this is proving to be another failed promised because there is no sign of this happening as we are almost in the July 26 week, a resident told the Daily Observer.

According to the protesters, many residents have on previous occasions paid bills for community supply of electricity to owners of generators, which they said is not ‘even dependable.’

Morris Karneh, who claims to be one of the leaders of the protest, said if government failed to quickly address their demand this time, they will stage a ‘peaceful demonstration,’ at the office of President.

He further accused the LEC of being insensitive to the plight 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 a year now, and that the LEC has not responded to our plight.”

He 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) plant at White Plains and Mount Coffee Hydro in Louisiana with Monrovia.

Another resident said although Caldwell provides the basic utilities that generate revenue for government, people living there cannot access electricity.

Meanwhile, Winston Bedell, LEC’s Assistant Communication Director, has called on Caldwell Residents to be patient, as the corporation’s contractors are doing everything possible to electrify the township and some other surroundings.

He said the Caldwell electrification project, which is a 10-month program, is being sponsored by the World Bank and within that time frame “I believe that Caldwell will be electrified.”


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