Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Pakistani peacekeepers in Liberia rebuild key bridge damaged by heavy rains

31 August 2007 – Peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) have rebuilt a key bridge linking the capital, Monrovia, with the western part of the country and neighbouring Sierra Leone that collapsed just days ago, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.

The Kiakpu River Bridge, which is about 15 kilometres west of Monrovia, is a vital route used for travel and commerce by both Liberians and Sierra Leoneans.

Opening the new bridge today, UNMIL Force Commander Lt.-Gen. Chikadibia Isaac Obiakor commended the Pakistani engineers – who completed the bridge in 14 hours – for their expeditious work, saying it was a clear manifestation of UNMIL’s desire and commitment to help Liberians move forward with rebuilding their country.

“We are here to deliver,” he stated. “We are here to make sure that Liberians are empowered to go about their normal lives and enjoy peace.”

Yesterday, Lt.-Gen. Obiakor encouraged a group of young Liberians to pursue a different type of rebuilding as he presented certificates to 40 men and women who completed a community development programme organized by UNMIL’s Bangladeshi contingent in the port city of Buchanan.

Participants underwent a seven-week course that included basic computer skills and training relating to air conditioner and generator repair, and pump maintenance and repair techniques.

Presenting the certificates, Lt.-Gen. Obiakor urged the young people to apply the knowledge they acquired to improve their environments and their lives.

The Force Commander also commissioned a children’s park in Buchanan built by the Bangladeshi contingent.

Pakistani peacekeepers in Liberia rebuild key bridge damaged by heavy rains