Invincible Park, Monrovia, Liberia

Visible Mess At The Invincible Park

Posted May 29, 2022
By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh

I am a writer and a policy guy.

I and not a construction engineer, and I don’t claim to be an environmental engineer or any of the engineers that you see building those wonderful infrastructures all over the place.

But I know floodwater when I see one.

The one at the much-celebrated Invincible Park, the park that George Manneh Weah consecrated on April 15, 2022, which crumbled one month later, is certainly floodwater.

Any receipts, any paperwork to know how this amount was spent, or do we just have to believe what President Weah and his government tell us?

Where are the auditors when we need them?

But the president’s point man, Trokon Kpui, who supervises the construction work on the $2.1m Invincible Park, wants us to believe the floodwater that took over the park isn’t actually floodwater but overflowed water that came from the nearby unfinished children’s swimming pool.

What Kpui is not telling the Liberian people is whether the administration conducted an Environmental Impact Study and other engineering studies to know whether the location is ideal to build a facility of this kind that could affect the ecological balance in the area.

Why construct a $2.1m public park at the end of a runway, James Spriggs Payne airfield, where planes take off and land, where pedestrian and vehicle traffic is prevalent, and the possibility of accidents of all kinds are inevitable?

From what I know, parks and recreation are a full-fledged part of municipal governments, whose Department of Parks and Recreation and its Director and engineers handle those things.

Environmental Engineer and Executive Director of Africa Environmental Watch, Dr. Morris T. Koffa, noted that most streets in the Monrovia area lacked adequate inlets and drainage systems to capture runoff water.

“They should have done a feasibility study knowing that it is a residential area,” Koffa said. And because the area where the park is built is residential and a surface area, makes the runoff water percolates into an open place.

In Trokon Kpui’s mind, however, it is not even a drainage problem because the park is one of the “best parks in the world,” and once the two-day rainfall stops, the water at the Invincible Park gonna drained out and the park will be back in business.

Not so quick, brother, because the overflowing of water at such a pace in a country such as Liberia with garbage and feces problems that scattered and mixed with other things during the flooding, will trigger more health crises after the flood water dissipates.

Infectious diseases that could thrive after the flooding are respiratory infections, sore eyes, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, cholera, typhoid fever, malaria, chicken pox, skin infections, and many others.

So to not fumigate the park before opening it to the public and be so flippant and say with a dry face that the park will be back in business without taking into consideration the looming health crisis, and not working with the Ministry of Health, is irresponsible.

This Kpui guy wants us to believe the talking points and he want us to also swallow every crab from his compromised and not so credible office and government, and don’t say a word about the faulty work, poor engineering, drainage system problems, and incompetence.

However, knowing the Liberian government and Liberian presidents and how they treat the Liberian people badly, and the arrogance they display time and time again with absolutely no accountability and impunity, makes me believe that this administration will lie to the Liberian people and do what it wants to do without any public outcry, legislative hearings, and oversight.

I believe strongly that George Manneh Weah, the current president who singlehandedly spearheaded this project, and his team did not do an Environmental Impact Study to assess the impact and unintended consequences of the project on humans and the environment.

Because certainly, had the Liberian government done this study, we will know by now whether there was air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, waste production, noise pollution, damage to the ecosystems, and loss of diversity problems, as this project takes hold and becomes a presence in the area.

The Environmental Impact Study probably would have at least influenced their decision to not build the park in the current location.

So, can you release to the public the Environmental Impact Study and the Statement that determines your decision to carry out this project?

So when the nation’s president embarks on a personal, egotistical crusade and takes the lead role to build a park, which he singlehandedly named “Invincible Park,” the non-presidents and curious citizens of Liberia shouldn’t even ask, ‘why?’

Unfortunately, in a country supposedly a democracy, the presidential enablers are pushing back hard and wondering why question anything at all when you have a godly George Manneh Weah, who must be left alone to chase his pet projects that will bring development to Liberia.

In the name of democracy - since there is one in Liberia as we are led to believe, I want to know why construct a public park in the first place, Mr. President, when the job of building parks and recreational facilities doesn’t fall within the job descriptions of a nation’s president, let alone the President of Liberia?

Meanwhile, and in other development, if this so-called “development president” actually wanted real development in Liberia (Monrovia), he would definitely take a look at the once famous and now dilapidated seaside Ducor (Palace) International Hotel, and renovate and lease the property to a Liberian investor or a foreign investor, to generate funds.

If Mr. Weah truly is interested in development, his government would buy the dilapidated E.J Roye Building and the land from the owner, and lease it to a Liberian investor or a foreign investor, to generate revenues for the Liberian government.

If the Weah administration really is interested in development, it would renovate Hotel Africa (OAU Village), now sinking into the sea, and lease the property to a Liberian investor or a foreign investor, to generate revenues for the Liberian government.

George Weah’s not about development.

George Manneh Weah’s interested in photo ops and his huge ego. 


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