MONROVIA- It was a joyous entry into the New Year 2022 for residents of Yekepa as ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) and local authorities officially commissioned recently installed solar streetlights in the Township.
Working through an independent contractor, ArcelorMittal Liberia has installed one hundred and fifty solar streetlights across the Township of Yekepa as part of ongoing efforts to improve security and the outlook of the area.
Dedicating the streetlights project on Friday, December 31, 2021, Nimba County District #3 Representative, Hon. Joseph Nyan Somwarbi praised ArcelorMittal Liberia for the initiative and averred that the lighting of Yekepa streets is a positive response that will help to improve relations and investment in AML mining communities.
Representative Somwarbi encouraged the community residents to ensure that the newly installed solar streetlights are well protected and taken care of.
“It is one thing to have the light and it is another thing to maintain it. Please take care of this gift and be watchful that criminals will not come to steal them overnight.”
Representative Somwarbi also expressed his excitement over the general outlook and improvements that have taken place in the township of Yekepa which includes intensive wild vegetation management that has improved the outlook of the area.
In a statement dedicating the lights, ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO Adriaan Strydom emphasized that the lighting of Yekepa is a part of AML’s contribution to the community.
“It is a huge honor we have and it’s a privilege for ArcelorMittal Liberia to be in the position that we can make this contribution to the community, and we are looking up to further involvement and commitments to upgrade the facilities to make the environment even better for the community,” Mr. Strydom noted.
Many residents of the Yekepa have been speaking about the impact of the installation of the solar streetlights and the sense of security that is being created.
At the P-Market and Area-K intersection where some business centers are located, traders joyfully highlighted that the installation of the solar lights by ArcelotMittal has allowed them to sell for much longer hours at night and they are very grateful for that.
Traders at the intersection who operate provision shops, drug stores, and money exchange businesses said prior to the installation of the lights, they were compelled to close their business centers when night falls, but now they can continuw selling late in the night.
“The light is beneficial to us here. We stay long making business and interacting, unlike in the past when we had to go indoor sooner during the night,” said Blessing Zarwolo, a money exchanger directly operating under one of the light poles.
The installation of solar streetlights in Yekepa is one of several ongoing social and community development projects by ArcelorMittal Liberia.
In November 2021, ArcelorMittal Liberia announced several new initiatives including a USD Fifty Thousand ($50,000) scholarship program for students at public colleges and senior high students in Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa Counties; Donation of school supplies to 50 schools in communities around the mines and railroad in the three counties; Provision of USD Fifteen Thousand ($15,000) as logistical support to help Nimba, Grand Bassa, and Bong Counties prepare for the 2021/2022 National County Sports Meet; Renovation of the roof of the G. W. Harley Hospital in Sanniquellie, Nimba County; and the launch of the ArcelorMittal Liberia Football tournament.
Other initiatives include Solar electrification of the streets of Yekepa Township; Renovation of the Zolowee Public School in Nimba County; Sponsorship of a youth conference; Launch of community health outreach and public safety awareness around the rails and motorways as well as weeklong volunteer activities by employees of AML and community residents.