Lone Star at Cross-Roads (III).
Solomon Myers (July 29th 2004)
"There is enough in the world for everyone's need, but not enough for
everyone's greed." ~ Frank Buchman
In order for Liberia to move from its decay, and emerge into a “wholesome functioning society”; it is essential that the current priority should be for government to assist Liberians in meeting their fundamental needs as human beings.
As Maslow had espoused in his hierarchy of needs theory, the instinctoid need of a human to make the most of their unique abilities can not come to play until their basic physiological needs are met.
In Liberia today, many Liberians have been forced to build shacks in unsanitary areas, such as swamps.
It is essential that Liberians be raised from “mat to mattresses”. This is achievable by the reestablishing of a national housing and savings bank scheme, and the undertaking of construction in places such as Bushrod Island, gardenersville , paynesville and also some parts of downtown Monrovia. Areas like WestPoint, in Monrovia, could provide an excellent area for building warehouses which could in turn generate revenue for the city.
In a recent statement, Jacques Klein, the UN Special Representative to Liberia, lamented that he had 300 to 400 unfilled jobs. The positions Klein had referred to ranged from carpenters to forklift truck operators. Klein emphasized that there was “just not the skilled workforce here to fill those jobs”.
An immediate win-win solution to the issue Klein had raised would be that former child soldiers could be trained in various trades, and be put to work by “on the job training”. They could be taught to build durable housing and roads. Through this, former combatants could get some income, be kept busy and the problems related to people living in unsanitary conditions could be solved.
Further, returning Liberians could be given the opportunity to lease some of these houses. This would facilitate the return of exiled Liberians, and Liberian refuges after all these years of strife in Liberia.
Proper urban planning should be enforced and people should not be left to build indiscriminately without proper permits. Property should be assigned proper spacing, lay-out and labeling.
Government should build their own office space and should not be paying rent to former government officials and their families. Rent control must be enforced to ensure every Liberian can afford a decent abode.
Government should come to the realization that the “soil is a bank” that must be invested in. Agriculture could create massive employment and will lead to Liberians being able to feed themselves. A nation that can feed itself is a strong nation.
Proper consideration should be given to currency issue, in order to reduce the possibility of an underground economy; which will consequently create massive suffering for the working poor. The Liberian dollar should be eradicated or backed by the US dollar, or replaced by the US dollar.
I salute President Bush and President Obasanjo for giving Liberians a second chance at life, and giving unborn Liberians a shot at a better day.
America has proven, under the administration of President Bush, that they are an anchor to Liberia. Not only in the good times, but also in it’s dying days.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
The torch has been passed on to Liberians, to now cease the opportunity given to us by these two vigilant nations.
From where I sit….
Solomon Myers hails from Buchanan, Liberia. He is a Political Scientist/Historian, currently based in Ottawa, Canada.
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