The congested commercial district of Red Light has for the first time in ages gained sanity since becoming the convergence spot for marketers during the administration of former Liberian President, Charles Taylor. The cleaning of the area began on Friday, June 10, following a vigorous law enforcement exercise led by the Liberia National Police (LNP) upon request by Paynesville City Mayor, Cyvette Gibson. The police have a 90-day mandate to ensure that vendors and motorists comply with city regulations regarding the use of the road as well as maintaining the clean environment every day. Street vendors and others who have over the years been keeping the place filthy participated in the cleanup exercise. After times of encounter with police for selling on the road and keeping the area filthy, the vendors grouped themselves and began cleaning the filth disposed of on the main road, sweeping the rest of the areas and filling puddles with pieces of broken blocks and stones.The cleaning continued on Saturday with police warning the marketers not to bring their wares near the road or drop dirt on the sidewalk.“We sit in Liberia here and say Ghana is developed, but it is the Ghanaians themselves that developed their country. This is the same thing they did to develop Ghana; therefore we need to do the same if we can be like the Ghanaians,” a member of the crowd declared.The volunteers, who befriended the police following the harsh encounters, were also cleaning the market site. They therefore promised to keep the facility perpetually clean, without waiting on national government to come and clean it for them.“It is our business to clean it for our own safety. No dropping dirt, no selling on the road,” they were heard shouting, among other slogans they coined.Unlike the past when vehicles could hardly find space to maneuver or make way through the area, vehicles can now freely move without human interference.All vehicles heading outside of Monrovia now park far off from the road to provide space for others, and they do not have to spend hours any longer to enter or exit.Vehicles caught in violation of traffic laws are without compromise impounded and towed to the courtyard of SKD Sports Complex.Pedestrians have space to walk on the road without stepping or dodging goods, and people can now inhale fresh air without holding their noses to avoid the stench of garbage.Prior to the enforcement, the main road in Red Light leading to Kakata had been overwhelmed by garbage, while vehicles could not go to the Goba-Chop Market because of stockpiles of garbage blocking the paved road.Predicated upon filthiness of the commercial district, coupled with blockages caused by sellers, the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) early last week ordered the removal of sellers from the road.Police officers were last Wednesday seen with rattans whipping stubborn vendors and breaking down their make-shift stalls. Since then, police presence has increased at Red Light as vendors are likely to return to the road with their usual attitude and behavior that poses health hazards to the residents.Even with this welcoming development unfolding at Red Light, one condition that remains challenging there is the unimproved parking lots created by the Federation of Road Transport Union of Liberia (FRTUL).Incorporated as the local transport union in Liberia since 1981, FRTUL has the social responsibility to build terminals for drivers and passengers in its operational areas, but has failed to do so despite numerous promises.It may be recalled that an official of the FRTUL, Joe S. Willie, said it is part of the entity’s responsibility to build terminals in the country for vehicles and passengers, but was still finding it difficult because of lack of adequate land space.Mr. Willie said the FRTUL Monrovia branch is contemplating building a terminal at the Omega site where the new Red Light market is to be relocated.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…scrutineers to be dispatched to witness electoral activitiesAs the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) announces their plans for the Guyanese people amid the upcoming elections, campaigning will also be done extensively in all communities to highlight some of the projects that will be undertaken under their governance.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoThis was announced by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo during a recent press conference, where he signalled their draft of developmental plans for several years. While there have been protest actions on their part to ensure constitutional adherence, he said their focus is positioned towards the common man.“We’re happy that we’re moving forward. The PPP will start aggressively to campaign because we want people to hear what our plans are for the next few years. We will review. We will see how we go and our strategy to protest the Government will be under review but we are not a party of protest,” he noted.Jagdeo, who is also the party’s General Secretary, said they will venture out into every region and the wider communities to meet and engage the public. The party intends to put forward the plans they have outlined and how they will benefit the population.“We’re more comfortable talking about development. We want to carry that message in every corner of this country and we want the people to see and understand the plans for the next five years and how all of them will benefit from these plans. We want to go [out to] every region and every community to talk to people about this. That’s where we would like to take the campaign.”At a previous press conference, he had assured that the PPP would work for all Guyanese regardless of their race, religion, or geographic location. However, it was noted that the party’s political opponents have always painted them as pro-Indian – an area where not enough was done in order to change or tackle this perception.This time around, they will be seeking to end this stereotype by further broadening their base. Already, he had said, the PPP has gained significant backing from new supporters.A number of valid developments have been promised in the party’s manifesto, which was released some time ago. Their plans have tackled areas which have seen mass outcries from the Guyanese public.The education sector under the PPP Administration is said to be geared towards improved access, quality, affordability and preparing Guyanese students at the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and tertiary levels. This is to ensure that they secure better-paying jobs in line with the requirement of the economy.Prominent among these would be the delivery of free education at the University of Guyana (UG) and enhanced access through the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Previously, it was explained that free university education would not be available initially but within two or three years as they work out the details of this policy initiative. The party had also announced plans to give out 20,000 online scholarships, which will help with private education especially in courses that are not offered by UG.Meanwhile, as it relates to the power woes, the PPP has also committed that the resuscitation of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project would be among its top priorities for the energy sector.To this end, the General Secretary said that the PPP Administration will move onto a gas power plant, which it believes could be done easily. To this end, the General Secretary said that the PPP Administration will move onto a gas power plant, which it believes could be done easily. However, while this will bring another 20 megawatts into the system, he stressed that it will not come into fruition until maybe 2021. As such, they will have to rely on fossil fuel initially to stabilise power supply in the country and bring an end to the constant blackouts.As they campaign alongside the elections preparations, the Opposition Leader said they will dispatch officials to scrutinise activities under the Guyana Elections Commission. On October 1, the Commission will embark on the Claims and Objections period – a process that would be under watch by their scrutineers.“GECOM has decided now to move forward with preparations and Claims and Objections will start on 1st October. A preliminary list of electors will be extracted from the current NRR and posted all across the country. We are going to put in place our scrutineers because that is the right place where you get registered if you are not on the voters’ list,” he informed.