Coming Soon: The Big Tear-Down
Driving through Monrovia and Gbarnga (and perhaps other towns as well) you can' t help but notice the big yellow "X"s painted on the sides of many wooden and even concrete structures along the sides of the road. The government is warning people that their unauthorized buildings are about to be torn down en masse in order to beautify the city and to force sellers back into the market structures that are intended for them. Most of the buildings marked for destruction are "business centers" where people sell phone cards and DVDs and exchange dollars for Liberty.
President Johnson-Sirleaf has taken to the radio over the last 7 days or so,
saying that this step is necessary to reduce traffic conjestion, attract foreign investment, enforce zoning laws, and facilitate commerce. They've also torn out all the ragtag structures on the parkway in the middle of Broad Street downtown to make way for trees and grass, she says.