US$8M Rural Pro-Poor Housing Unit Project Launched

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By David A. Yates and Robin Dopoe

More than 100 participants, including county officials and representatives of local authorities, yesterday, June 20, gathered in Margibi County to witness the launch of an US$8 million rural housing project by President George Weah.

The initiative, which will be implemented by the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), named and styled “Special Presidential Pro-Poor Housing Unit Project,” targeting 568 housing units across the 15 political sub-divisions.

It will also be funded partially by the Weah-led administrations in partnership with the Japanese Government in said amount.

President Weah said the project is part of his vision to cater to the well-being of rural Liberians who have been neglected for years by providing them affordable and decent housing units.

He expressed the hope that the rural housing project will bring joy and happiness to the vast majority of Liberians who have been dwelling in outdated huts in different parts of the country, and reemphasized his determination to bring development to the country.

“It hurts me a lot to see my people in this 21st century still living in mud houses and for this reason, I’m going to do everything humanly possible to change that situation — which is part of the promise I made to them,” the President said.

“I believe in actions, not words; and I can assure you that this project will be implemented successfully. I was born in poverty and know what it means for others to live in poverty; so under my administration I’m going to do everything possible to improve the lives of every Liberian and this is what the pro-poor agenda is about.”

He said the housing project will be at no cost to the citizens and will be constructed and given to them free of charge.  “I believe that the coming of this project will change the face of our communities and make it look beautiful.

Meanwhile, although the project is expected to kick-start in President Weah’s home of Sasstown, Grand Kru County, he assured Liberians that all the 15 political sub-divisions will benefit from the project, stressing: “This is my promise to them.”

He said: “I lived in Sasstown from 1975 to 1979; I never had the opportunity to live in decent house. Today, in this 21st Century, I see that my parents, the people and my friends are still living the hut life. Now, we are in a modern era; it is time to change that.”

“This is the Pro-Poor we talk about; it is meant for everyone to be served – the rich, the poor and the middle-class. There will be affordable housing for our people, but this one is to lift our people from poverty to sustainable development,” the Liberian leader assured.

President Weah acknowledged that there would be criticisms of the project, but said he remains focused to do what he promised the Liberian people.

He stressed: “170 years, we continue to criticize and nothing changed; those who are criticizing should go ahead; no matter what you say, I will do what I am elected to do for the people of Liberia”.

He thanked the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) for constructing a Prototype of the rural housing unit, and for embracing the project in the interest of the people in remote villages.

He also urged LACE to speed-up with the Project and to ensure that it is durable.

The rural housing project coincides with an ambitious nation-wide roads construction and pavement projects the President Weah-led government has embarked upon to ease traveling impediments and enhance trade and economic activities.

Earlier, LACE executive director Quiwu Yeke, said the construction of the housing unit will be at no cost to Liberians in the rural areas.

“These villages will be built for free by President Weah as a way of identifying with his people in the rural part of this country,” Yeke said.

Mr. Yeke further said that the housing project also aims to ensure the achievement of economic justice by making the initial 282 units low cost houses available to persons that are vulnerable, starting with President Weah’s home town, Saastown, Grand Kru County.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Good project, this, if managed properly, will make housing affordable for the average Liberian because presently its extremely expensive.

  2. GOOD PROMISE OF YOU TO KEEP A AND A BLESSING FOR YOUR PEOPLE OF LIBERIAN IN THAT AREA AND BLESS THE LORD OF OUR LIVES AND. DO THE RIGHT THING OKAY. STAND UP FOR WHAT IS GOOD.

  3. Awesome! I see no outside toilet or community well. It looks real this time. Long live the KING! Pro-Poor Forever!

  4. Thanks agric.partner for the good new to make Liberia agric.nation
    this will provide many job and
    development.

  5. President Weah’s Pro-Poor Economic Revolution reminds me of Tolbert’s “ From Mats to Mattresses” Social Policies that lacked self-empowerment policies.

    I remember during Pres. Tolbert’s ambitious and progressive social policies, many “Pro-Poor” slogans were concocted. There were slogans like “Total involvement for higher heights” and “From mats to mattresses.” President Tolbert started the low cost housing projects, some infrastructure projects and many agriculture programs. But his early demise brought an end to his economic/social revolution for Liberia.

    Tolbert disdain for lateness did not go unnoticed. He emphasized punctuality at work and school. Tolbert would sometimes surprisingly show up early in the morning at various offices before work begins to catch notorious late comers. He had no patient for Liberians nonchalant and lackadaisical (lack of interest) attitudes they showed for their jobs. His no-nonsense attitude caused many Liberians to nickname him “Speedy”.

    However, Tolbert was caught between two competing forces of the time: The old boys powerful political network of one party rule of The True Whig Party and the emergence of The Progressives: The Progressive People Party (PPP) of Young Liberians were demanding a multiparty system coupled with the geopolitical pressure of the Cold War that also put strain on Tolbert’s independent political philosophy to keep Liberia standing in “The Non-Aligned Movement”.

    The objective of this movement, which some considered a “Socialist Movement” during the Cold War, was to maintain a national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries in their struggle against all forms of foreign aggression, domination, and interference: namely imperialism.

    In comparison, Weah is starting a Pro-poor Economic /Social Revolution for many poor Liberians who were left at the bottom of Liberia’s economic and social ladder. I pray that foreign powers do not label him a so called “Socialist” like they did Tolbert because Tolbert broke away from Liberia’s traditional partners….to do things his way.

    Good idea Mr. President to start low cost housing and housing projects for the poor. However, the President needs to put some “self-empowerment” policies in place for the poor people whom he wants to move from “huts to houses”. Don’t make the same mistake Tolbert made by not focusing on human development.

    Focus greatly on Liberian human resource development (quality education, good jobs and decent health care) which leads to self-empowerment coupled with infrastructure development: roads, housing, Agriculture, water and electricity.

    Human resource developments are necessary empowerment tools that will help the poor to think positively about their ability to master issues about their economic well-being. We have to break the cycle of Liberians over-dependency on national and foreign governments for basic needs. The over-reliance on Liberian government for basic needs has and will continue to create an “imperial presidency syndrome” in Liberia if we don’t create the right economic/social environment for self-empowerment.

    Finally, once the poor become self-empowered, they can think positively about their ability to make change and gain mastery over difficult issues. Self-empowerment helps to narrow the gap between the haves and have-not. By being self-empowered, it gives one the ability to start his or her own business. It helps one become financially capable of maintaining these government houses that you to construct in the rural areas.

    Self-empowerment also gives poor people the means of sending their children to get quality education and good health care. Self-empowerment will give the poor “The Freedom to choose” as the late renowned Economist Dr. Milton Friedman would say.

    Keep up the good work Mr. President. Work smart!!!!

  6. Housing units not new to Liberia, Stephen Tolbert Estate, Cabra Estate Matilda Estate etc…… These projects are finance by tax payers and at the end few individuals pocket is full for the rest of their life’s. Hope this project will be different.

  7. “Meanwhile, although the project is expected to kick-start in President Weah’s home of Sasstown, Grand Kru County, he assured Liberians that all the 15 political sub-divisions will benefit from the project, stressing: “This is my promise to them.” ”
    Expected to kick-start in the President Weah’s hometown, isn’t that nepotistic? Why this project can’t be lunched anywhere else than his hometown? Why not start in Grand Bassa county for example. That being said, they are also Liberians and deserve it, but it leaves many unanswered questions! How sure are we this project will be launched in other places after this one? Anyway congrats in advance Sasstown!

  8. Good idea but hoping for a good end result.The question that comes to One’s mind is, is LACE the agency responsible for building public Housing for Government especially on a larger scale? Who will monitor this group and why should it be this company, when there is no information as per say there was a vetting process for this contract. This is not in the right direction Mr. President.
    The National Housing Authority is Clothed with the authority to govern and monitor all public Housing constructions In partnership with Public Works.
    You can have a good idea but if the proper process is not implemented and followed, it becomes dubious and a fiasco.
    This is a good plan, but Mr. President let there be transparency to exist in the form that there must be an open vetting process through the ministry of Public Works and the government agency responsible to monitor all companies that want to partake in this good undertaking; with the National Housing Authority being the sole owner and executor of those Housing projects.
    When the right and legal process is followed, no qualms and perception of Cronyism and Favoritism will

    exist.

  9. Liberia and its people, are 171 years old. But notwithstanding, Liberia and Liberians looked nothing impressive. Liberia and Liberians, are nothing but mere strangers and villagers in their own country. Our people, say, promise is debt. President Weah and his Pro Poor led Government, promised Liberia and our people good roads to realistically cover and connect Liberia. Today, the Weah led Government, has publicly kicked off low-income housing for the 15 counties of Liberia. Obviously, these are excellent and impressive public policy statements and actions. Since 1847, Government-after-Government in Liberia, never dreamed of nor ever thought of building roads to connect Liberia, left alone, build low-income housing for poor and needyLiberians in Liberia. Great policy and actionable approach. Promise, is debt!

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