Who can answer this US$64,000 question?
Since the tyrannical Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, violently attacked his innocent neighbor Ukraine roughly two months ago, the impact has been catastrophic not only on Ukraine but on the entire world, most especially non-oil producing nations, including Liberia.
Russia is a petroleum producer; so the war has caused a serious disruption in the global supply of this vital commodity. A small, innocent country like Liberia is not a major player on the world stage, though someday we hope to become one. Yet we, too, are grievously affected by this war, which we have absolutely nothing to do with.
How? Petroleum — which we like all nations need on a daily basis for our aircraft, motor vehicles and our generators, on which we must rely daily and nightly for energy, since our supposed national supplier, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has all but totally forgotten about us.
How else can we survive comfortably and productively in our homes, offices, places of entertainment, etc., if we did not have our generators to supply us with the energy we need to function?
In our Editorial yesterday, which dwelt on fixing RIA and Liberia, we closed with this cogent (forceful, lucid) appeal: “Let us, therefore, put on our thinking caps, engage our minds and develop our spiritual resolve to go forward and lift Liberia in every direction — spiritually, educationally, socially, politically — on a pedestal that will compel the admiration, love, cooperation, respect, and support of all mankind!”
Yes, we, too, in Liberia are seriously affected by this faraway war. This pointedly shows how interdependent we all are as nations of our one world. We all need one another. That is why Jesus, our divine Savior, implores us to love one another, as He loves us.
So how can we answer this urgent question at hand: How can we avoid further hardship for our people?
We surely cannot return to kerosene lanterns. We all regret that we have to be part of the destruction of our God-given forests, which we grievously depend upon daily for wood — charcoal — for cooking and heating water.
In a vain attempt at an answer, let us refer to the many rivers, creeks, and streams that God has bestowed upon our land, Liberia. These could be used as vital sources of energy. How many of us have seen the mighty hydro of the Firestone Plantations in Harbel? This is part of the genius of Harvey Firestone, who created the Firestone Plantations. Immediately upon seeing the Farmington River, he knew he had found a source of energy to electrify the vast rubber plantation he was about to build. So he returned to the United States and found the engineers and technicians he needed, and brought them to Liberia to build the Firestone hydroelectric plant. It is that hydro that supplies the Firestone Plantation with the energy it needs.
Some years ago, boys of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata saw how the Liberian rubber magnate, Harry L. Morris, used many streams on his Kakata rubber plantation to supply electricity for his farm.
The theme of this Editorial is “The Rising Cost of Fuel.” We pray that this Editorial will remind our Liberian people about the vast water resources God has given us on these 43,000 square miles of land called Liberia. Alas! We Liberians have not even begun to tap this vital resource that the good Lord has given us to help us harness the supply of electricity.
Think about it, Liberians, and let’s get busy. Firestone has done it; Harry Morris did; so can we.
We can use our vast water resources to help supply electricity. We are attempting it at the hydroelectric plant in Mount Coffee. How about trying to do the same on our farms, in our backyards, and in our surrounding villages?