The Daily Observer newspaper is not today complaining about water.
Why? Because to do that would be ingratitude to God who has given us, unlike so many other countries, especially fellow West African neighbors in the Sahel, bordering the Sahara Desert, so much rainfall and so many rivers and lakes that we have more than enough water! So how can we complain?
Far from complaining, we are making an urgent appeal to the four Agencies of Government that are chiefly responsible for managing water and the general environment. They are, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) and the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC).
We are today appealing to these Agencies to take seriously their responsibility for managing the nation’s water, and thereby relieve the Liberian people of the grave inconveniences that bedevil them during the heavy rains.
Last weekend’s rains were a typical example. Monday’s edition already carried a story on the Johnsonville, Montserrado County’s heavy downpour that left so many stranded, forcing them to take off their footwear and lift their garments as they waded through lakes of water, while even many of their homes were flooded, with everything soaked.
Perhaps the most difficult area in Montserrado County was the first Old Road Junction in Sinkor, hear former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s home, where there occurred a massive flood that made it nearly impossible for motor vehicles to pass, causing a major traffic jam that lasted several hours, both Monday and Tuesday. A trip to Monrovia from Paynesville and Congo Town that took not more than 30 to 45 minutes lasted for more than four hours!
This is not the first time we have appealed to Water and Sewer, Public Works and other Agencies to use their expertise to fix this problem. Our question today is, how long it will take Liberian engineers to fix these perennial problems. Another area that faces a serious water bottleneck every year is the Depot of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) sub-station in Paynesville. Frequently floods of water on the Paynesville corridor near the LEC substation at Joe Bar is flooded, making it very difficult for pedestrians and motor vehicles to pass.
Are there no engineers at EPA, Public Works and Water and Sewer to deal decisively with these flood problems? Why must our people be confronted with these flood problems every single year? What are their engineers learning in school that makes it impossible for them to deal decisively with these problems?
The purpose of universities is to train students to SOLVE PROBLEMS. We today call on the J.J.R. Faulkner College of Science and Technology at the University of Liberia (UL) to take their students around greater Monrovia—to Sonowhein, Old Road Junction, Paynesville Joe Bar Junction, Johnsonville and other waterlogged areas in the city to study the problems these areas face during the heavy rains and do what they can bring permanent solutions to flooding.
There is absolutely no need for these areas to face the same problems every year. At 171 years old, the time has long past when Liberia should be able to solve its own problems. Let the EPA, MME, MPW and LWSC get together, hang heads and put their engineering skills to work to solve these basic water problems.
And please do not approach a single foreign entity for assistance in this initiative. At 171 years old, it is about tine that we Liberians learn to solve our own problems, especially water, with which God has so richly blessed us.