Much construction and building improvement is in evidence all over town, but
The main construction material in
Another favorite construction material is the square panel of woven "cane" (pictured) which is used to build fences, screens, siding for homes, ceilings, you name it.
Luckier Liberians inhabit concrete and cinderblock structures. The central city features hundreds of buildings of 3-6 stories or more, in various states of disrepair. Even right downtown, many families are squatting (maybe renting?) abandoned commercial buildings, creating makeshift apartment buildings. Sometimes they build wood pole houses inside of concrete structures. It’s not unusual to see smoke from cooking fires streaming out of what was once a tidy government or commercial office building. These dwellings often also function as mini-malls in the daytime, where mothers and children sell roasted peanuts, fruit, or various inexpensive sundries. Often a hole will be punched in one side of the building to accommodate the exhaust pipe from a diesel generator, power cords and naked lightbulbs strung over the poles.
The reclamation of squatted properties will be a big challenge for the government as the economy starts to bounce back. Another one for the list.