It’s Time to Eliminate Our Slums: Let’s Start with West Point!

By  Kandakai Sherman

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
August 26, 2014


The pictures of West Point making the rounds on the internet as a result of the Government of Liberia’s quarantine actions are not a work of fiction. Many of the homes, constructed of corrugated zinc sheets are crammed in close proximity to each other, as if there is no available plot of land left on earth.  To even begin thinking of modern sanitation amenities for most of the residents of the community is to indulge in fantasy. The beach is nearby.

The Ebola outbreak and the catastrophe it is visiting on the West African sub region, is again drawing renewed spotlight on an environment that has witnessed its share of political instability over the last decade.  The last time in recent memory that Liberia gained such notoriety was during its civil war.

The quarantine measures put in place by the GOL for the affected communities are intended to contain the virus from spreading unabated. In the case of West Point however, we should be thinking beyond Ebola.  The squalid conditions under which our people are living should appeal to our collective national psyche (that should have happened a long time ago).  And I did not intend to discriminate against “Buzzy Quarter”, “Slipway”, “New Kru town”, “Soniwehn”, or our other up and coming slums.  West Point just happens to be in a league all by herself.


The peninsula was created into a township in 1960. It is debatable whether its current layout was approved or not, but judging from the fact that we’ve allowed it to mushroom into its present form is reason enough to suspect either  gross negligence, or administrative ineptitude in enforcing zoning regulations on the part of successive national governments.

Where is the concerted national housing development plan to relocate West Point? Let’s go a step further from the planning (if there’s one), because we’re very good at that. We’re known to write excellent policy proposals the world over. We pontificate from the podium to champion our views in passionate presentations that would reduce great orators like the late Martin Luther King, Jr., or John F. Kennedy, Jr., to mere students.  Introduce implementation or execution of those plans, and we ‘vanish in thin air.’ The interesting paradox is that some of our custodians have worked in environments other than our own, and have performed well. Yet when it comes to the homeland, they fail to deliver.

The people of West Point deserve to live in better conditions than what we have now. Our national government needs to embark on an urgent housing development project to address this anomaly. When we contain and address the Ebola epidemic to allow us return to political campaigning for the midterm elections, our citizens in West Point need to demand of all Senatorial aspirants their plans on addressing the housing problem. Ask them for the road map and timeline of implementation. It is your right to live decent lives like some of the very folks that are requesting to represent you.
And so here are a few suggestions for our government to initiate as a good faith commitment to the housing problem in Liberia:

  1. Allot funding for Research and Development (R&D) at our Universities & Colleges so that the young scientists can study how to utilize our logs for use in housing construction (beyond sawing the trees into planks for use in roofing).

  2. Put up cash awards for Private Enterprises to compete to come up with the most durable and affordable housing materials derived from local resources.

  3. Secure public land for the eventual relocation of West Point. Let the Architects at the Ministry of Public works come up with the renderings of the new West Point, to include well laid out streets, schools, parks, hospitals, libraries and entertainment centers. And by the way, the architectural designs should be made public.

  4.  Make a public declaration to the people of West Point of the government’s determination to relocate the community. Let’s explain to our people the many reasons why it is in their interests to improve the way they live, how it contributes to their overall health, esteem, growth and development.

It’s time to do the right thing. Let’s eliminate our slums. Let’s start with West Point!

About the author: Kandakai Sherman is a Service Desk Team Lead at Ascension Health, the largest Catholic & nonprofit healthcare system in the United States, whose mission-focused health ministries employ more than 122,000 associates serving in more than 1,400 locations in 21 states and the District of Columbia. He can be reached at:

Kpanneh Doe
Access to safe drinking water, electricity,indoor plumbing, affordable housing,etc. are amenities and rights that are basic to all human beings, and cannot be seen as privileges of a select few. In this modern age, our fellow Liberian citizens should not be living in such squalor and deplorable condition as West Point! Why after more than 50 years, successive Liberian administrations have neglected this community(West Point), which is an eyesore in the heart of Central Monrovia and represents the most extreme form of inner city urban decay, is unfathomable, to say the least. In the absence of any urban renewal or urban revitalization program for depressed communities in Monrovia, West Point should be demolished and our fellow citizens relocated elsewhere.This needs immediate, urgent action from the current administration to demonstrate that it truly cares about 'lifting' its most vulnerable citizens out of abject poverty. Kandakai, your 4-Point Plan provides a good basis for thinking about a more comprehensive urban redevelopment program for the City of Monrovia and its environs[I can appreciate the merits of your plan as an Urban Planner and Educator]. Years ago, one of our presidents(William Tolbert,Jr.) almost had it right when he renamed one of his Ministries, the "Ministry of Local Government, Urban Reconstruction, and Rural Development". Others came and reverse this but gave us nothing better. I am unsure which one of the ministries today is focusing on either of these problems. All we've heard over and over is so much rhetoric and fluff, and no substance. The Ebola crisis has clearly exposed the underbelly of an inept leadership and outdated system that can no longer serve the needs of our people.
Kpanneh Doe at 07:48AM, 2014/08/28.
Much obliged for setting aside an ideal opportunity to talk about that, I feel unequivocally about this thus truly like becoming acquainted with additional on this sort of field. Do you psyche overhauling your blog entry with extra understanding? It ought to be truly helpful for every one of us. root master
Arnold at 06:04AM, 2017/05/30.
Cool stuff you must you keep redesign every one of us. Soul City Band
Arnold at 04:38AM, 2017/06/02.
There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way. Thank you for your clear information. marketing websites
Arnold at 01:10AM, 2017/06/03.
Hero Instinct
The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing..
Hero Instinct at 09:27AM, 2017/06/03.
Questions to Ask
Marvelous article! I need individuals to know exactly how great this data is in your article. It's intriguing, convincing substance. Your perspectives are much like my own particular concerning this subject.
Questions to Ask at 01:02PM, 2017/06/03.
I am upbeat to discover this post exceptionally helpful for me, as it contains part of data. I generally want to peruse the quality substance and this thing I found in you post. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing. levo iq
Arnold at 03:56AM, 2017/06/07.
I'm happy to see the immense point of interest here!. THE MOMENT YOU REALIZE THE PERSON YOUR TALKING TO IS REALLY INTO BDSM!
Arnold at 06:02AM, 2017/06/12.
i read a considerable measure of stuff and i found that the method for composing to clearifing that precisely need to say was great so i am awed and ilike to come back again in future.. pressure washing Houston
Arnold at 06:23AM, 2017/06/15.
You're the best to share us about this redesign. Trust you won't get tired on making posts as useful as this. Revolutionary Sex
Cameron at 07:10AM, 2017/06/16.
More often than not I don't make remarks on sites, however I'd like to say this article truly constrained me to do as such. Truly pleasant post! torrent proxyportal
Arnold at 12:56AM, 2017/06/17.
Thank you for very usefull information.. keratosis pilaris on face
Arnold at 04:27AM, 2017/06/22.
hellenjos jos
There are so many people living in the slums. They don’t have money and land. Now the government is trying to eliminate these slums for the development of the city. No one is thinking about the lives of these people what they do if the government eliminate them. Hope for the best. Check This Out
hellenjos jos at 05:29AM, 2017/06/22.
rose world
rose at 05:32AM, 2017/06/22.
hellenjos jos
There are so many people living in the slums. They don’t have money and land. Now the government is trying to eliminate these slums for the development of the city. No one is thinking about the lives of these people what they do if the government eliminate them. Hope for the best. Check This Out
hellenjos jos at 05:33AM, 2017/06/22.
Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists. ad agencies los angeles
Arnold at 06:01AM, 2017/06/22.
I might want to thank you for the endeavors you have made in composing this article. I am trusting the same best work from you later on too.. travel
Arnold at 07:30AM, 2017/06/22.
A debt of gratitude is in order for setting aside an ideal opportunity to examine this, I feel emphatically about it and affection adapting more on this theme. On the off chance that conceivable, as you pick up skill, would you psyche overhauling your online journal with more data? It is to a great degree supportive for me. Printed Dresses
Arnold at 12:31AM, 2017/06/23.
This article gives the light in which we can watch the truth. This is extremely pleasant one and gives indepth data. Much obliged for this pleasant article. پنجره
Arnold at 04:08AM, 2017/06/23.
i am always looking for some free stuffs over the internet. there are also some companies which gives free samples. self improvement
Arnold at 02:28AM, 2017/06/28.
This sort of message continually rousing and I want to peruse quality substance, so cheerful to discover great spot to numerous here in the post, the composition is simply extraordinary, a debt of gratitude is in order for the post. link
Arnold at 04:54AM, 2017/06/28.
Much obliged for this incredible post, i discover it exceptionally fascinating and extremely well thoroughly considered and set up together. I anticipate perusing your work later on. Link
Arnold at 01:53AM, 2017/06/29.
I truly inspired after read this on account of some quality work and educational musings . I just wanna express profound gratitude for the author and want you to enjoy all that life has to offer for coming!.
Best Charcoal Grills
japan at 09:56AM, 2017/06/29.
I have perused a couple of the articles on your site now, and I truly like your style of blogging. I added it to my top picks web journal webpage list and will be inquiring soon. It would be ideal if you look at my site too and let me comprehend what you think. دانلود قسمت دوم فصل دوم شهرزاد
arnold at 12:26AM, 2017/06/30.
Intriguing post. I Have Been pondering about this issue, so a debt of gratitude is in order for posting. Really cool post.It 's truly extremely pleasant and Useful post.Thanks recording studio birmingham
arnold at 02:58AM, 2017/06/30.

Post your comment

You can use following HTML tags: <a><br><strong><b><em><i><blockquote><pre><code><img><ul><ol><li><del>

Confirmation code:

Comments script

© 2014 by The Perspective
To Submit article for publication, go to the following URL: