Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mt Coffee, Liberia

Hey... Mt Coffee... sounds like someplace you dream about with Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts at the summit! But it's actually the location in Liberia where the big hydroelectric plant used to be... and may be again some day. The team that has been out doing work on the ELWA power system, headed up by Steve Kejr, wanted to visit the old hydro-power plant on a Sunday and so the Sacras and the Lairds joined them on a little "field trip"--we started out with church in Kollieman Town, Todee District, which was quite nice... and then the Pastor, James Richards guided us on our way to Mount Coffee where he'd arranged several locally knowledgeable folks to give us a guided tour around the old hydro plant, and then on a hike about 1.8 miles up the old riverbed to the site of the major dam that diverted water to the hydro plant. It was about the hottest day of the year so far, so that was a little challenge for us, but we had a great time! Enjoy a few pictures and comments from the trip:

Here it is from the outside, and then, below, from the inside. It had 4 huge turbines inside, and during the wet season,provided a big part of Monrovia's electricity.

The insiders' view of the turbine's "home".

Then on the hike up to the main dam, the boys enjoyed themselves along the way--caves and cliffs, streams and rocks!

And a little drama for mom's sake (she was enjoying a lady's retreat in Ghana)... Please don't worry, Jared had his feet on a nice little ledge, perfect for standing on... honest!

Finally we made it to the big dam, built in the 60s, and with lots of evidence of partnership... parts from Wisconsin, parts with "Bethlehem Steel" stamped on them. The costs of restoring this project would be great, but imagine the rewards! With 200 plus inches of rain per year, Liberia's hydropower potential is awesome!

And for me, the view of the wide St. Paul River from the dam made it all worth it! Praise God!

1 comment:

Steve Pennings said...

Why was the hydroelectric plant abandoned?