Wasted Time, Lack of Commitment and Focus Have Shattered Our Coastline

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The world knows that the God of Nature has blessed Liberia with a wonderful coastline—350 miles of a great and rich natural resource.

But just as we Liberians have done and continue to do with our most important natural resource—our human resource—we have not only neglected but simply WASTED our rich, immaculate coastline. We have thrown it to the wind and water to do with it whatever they wish. And surely, if you give nature a chance, it can be a wonderful blessing—or a bane—a blight, a curse.

We Liberians have foolishly, stupidly and ungratefully chosen the latter. We have turned God’s blessings into a bane, which means a blight, a curse.

Remember, that is exactly what we have done to our rich and vast green vegetation that God gave our country, Liberia. And though we have tried very hard, over many administrations, especially Charles Taylor’s, to exterminate our vast rainforests, God has saved a good chunk of them. But what have we done to our little forests all over the country? We have effectively cut them down for charcoal. But that has been especially after Taylor and other warlords, some say Alhaji Kromah, wickedly destroyed the Mount Coffee Hydro-Electric Plant during that senseless civil war.

Now all over the country our little forests are gone, giving an open invitation to the sure and rapid encroachment of the Sahara Desert, from which God spared us all these centuries.

Why this early morning lamentation (weeping) about Liberia’s landscape? Because it is painfully, pitifully bleeding before our very eyes, in the blessed heartland of our coastal beauties—New Kru Town and D. Tweh High; West Point; Hotel Africa and the Unity Conference Center; Greenville, Sinoe County; and, of course, Buchanan, Grand Bassa County!

Were we in a different country—like La Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea—development-oriented countries—our rich and blessed coastline would have long been turned into a touristic paradise and Liberia would be among the richest African nations. But look what has happened to us! We have pitched ourselves to the bottom of the development ladder, scrambling among the least developed, the least accomplished and least respected nations in the world—WHY? The primary problem has been leadership.

Many of us remember that when in early September 1990 Dr. Amos Sawyer, the newly elected President of the Interim Government of National Unity, arrived in Monrovia, the Unity Conference Center and Hotel Africa were intact. It was there, was it not, where the Second All Party Conference was held? But right before Sawyer’s eyes Hotel Africa and the Conference Center started deteriorating and being looted! The exact same thing happened, under Dr. Sawyer’s eyes, to the Centennial Memorial Pavilion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which held and still holds a considerable portion of our national archives, and so many other institutions—they were looted.

There was still something at Hotel Africa when Ellen was inaugurated our President in January 2006. That has been 10 years and nearly four months. What has she done about Hotel Africa, the Conference Center and its beautiful beach?

What has she done about New Kru Town and D. Twe High? What has she done about West Point? And yes, she loves Grand Bassa—has many dear friends there and is always there—but what has she done to save Buchanan?

If the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy is doing nothing about these areas, especially due to the lack of vision, initiative and money, what has she done about it? She is the leader, is she not?

Today, sadly under Ellen’s watch, D. Twe High and NKT, Hotel Africa, West Point, Buchanan and Greenville are, before our dear President’s very eyes, being swept away by the Atlantic Ocean that God put there not to destroy—NO – but for us and our foreign friends and tourists to ENJOY!

Alas, the same way we have treated our forests and these last three generations of our students—denied them a decent education—is the same way we Liberians have treated yet another of our pristine natural resources, our beaches and all the major institutions associated with them—D. Twe High, Hotel
Africa and the Unity Conference Center and our second and third oldest cities, Buchanan and Greenville.

Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo recently told the Daily Observer that it would have taken only US$20 million to fix all these areas threatened by sea erosion. But this government seems to have developed the propensity to do everything with money except some of the most essential priorities—our education, our Agriculture (rice, meat and even bitter ball), our health (John F. Kennedy Medical Center, now even the Jackson F. Doe Memorial in Tappita), and now our rich, strategic tourist resorts, which are being allowed to be washed away by their chief ally, the ocean.

We are very sad and sorry, and that is why we are weeping this morning, shedding bitter tears over lost opportunities that could have brought glory and wealth to Liberia!

And yet, being the eternal optimists we are and shall ever remain, we believe it is not too late. Ellen has just under two years to DO something to the rescue. But will she?

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