President George Weah has expressed optimism that one of his signature development projects, the Bali Island construction will be a reality soon.
It can be recalled, in 2018, President Weah along with Indian government partners visited the proposed site for the construction of Bali Island, declaring then the transformation of the island into “new Monrovia” with skyscrapers, shopping malls, office buildings, banks, a state-of-the-art Mahatma Gandhi Conference Center, as a gift from the peoples and Government of India, among others.
The late Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist and political activist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
President Weah envisages that when completed, Bali Island will be transformed into a new Monrovia City, but since his pronouncement, much has not been seen – however, at the dedicatory ceremony of the 14 Military Hospital, on Wednesday, President Weah stated that although there are many who doubt his ability to bring to pass his vision of developing Liberia, but noted that all his earmarked projects including Bali Island, will come to fruition.
He stated that the criticisms of his critics would neither discourage, nor distract him from his accomplishing his mission to develop Liberia.
He told the public that with the help of God he will succeed in the building of the Bali Island into a city.
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. God being my helper, Bali Island will be another success story, and the naysayers will once again be surprised,” President Weah reassured.
He asserted that the completion of the 14 Military Hospital that is fully equipped, staffed and ready to serve Liberia is a realization of his commitment to providing Liberia with infrastructural development that he said will make impactful contribution to the society.
Meanwhile, President Weah has dedicated one of Liberia’s premier post-conflict medical facilities, the 14 Military Hospital, declaring that his mission and vision to develop Liberia and improve the living condition of citizens remain firm.
In a brief speech before cutting the ribbon to the hospital on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, President Weah expressed joy at the completion of what he called his signature project, thus ultimately dispelling notions and negativities that a military hospital project was unrealizable.
“I have a vision and a mission for Liberia. My vision is to develop Liberia to the maximum extent possible during my Presidency,” the Chief Executive noted. “And my mission is to complete every project that I embark upon in that process.”
Barely two years after he personally laid the first foundation brick to commence the project, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia announced at a colorful dedication ceremony: “Today, it is now complete and ready for operation. Fully equipped and staffed with a dedicated and qualified team of medical professionals, it will become the central health care facility of the Armed Forces of Liberia, and with its 150-bed capacity, will begin to provide in-patient services as well as outpatient services to our men and women in arms, and their families.”
The President said the 14 Military Hospital will provide other specialized services for the general Liberian population in the near future, besides its key initial purpose of being used by the military personnel and their families.
“These services will include certain emergency medical and surgical procedures such as plastic surgeries, and burn care, as well as general surgery,” the Head of State said, adding: “It will become the center of healthcare excellence, providing quality services and comfort for all Liberians.”
President Weah told the gathering of government officials and other dignitaries that the decision to build the Hospital was informed by the lack of specialized medical facilities in Liberia “for the use of our men and women in arms, and it followed an unfortunate situation that befell Liberian soldiers serving in Mali who had to be flown to different countries for advanced medical attention.”
The President recalled that following thorough discussions with Defense authorities on what to do to address the situation, including depending on foreign medical services to treat sick and wounded soldiers of Liberia, he decided to take the bull by the horn, to boldly and directly deal with the glaring deficiency by building the country’s first military hospital.
“I decided that, instead of sending our soldiers who are on the war front fighting terrorism to different countries when they get wounded, we needed to build our own military hospital where we will have specialists that will treat them,” the President said.
According to him, he had realized that undertaking such project would be an important priority of his Administration and that in his first Armed Forces Day Address, on February 11, 2018, less than a month after taking the mantle of power, he announced that we would build a state-of-the-art Medical Center for the Military, their families and dependents, as well as for the use of other citizens and residents of Liberia.
The Liberian Leader however used the dedication occasion to debunk critics and skeptics who did not believe building a hospital complex for the military was achievable.
He reflected: “Many who listened to my pronouncement that day thought that it was just a dream, or an illusion; just mere words being spoken which were not grounded in reality. There were many skeptics, and many critics. But those who thought that way did not know that I am not a man of words, but a man of action. They completely under-estimated my determination and the strength of my resolve, especially when I am faced with a challenge that seems to be against all odds. I talk, and I do.”
The President also thanked those who helped to bring the Hospital project to reality, including the Minister of Defense, the Chief of Staff, the Engineering Company of the Armed Forces of Liberia, and all members of the AFL who worked on this project as well as the Minister of Health and her able staff for their guidance and assistance.
The President added: “I would also make a special mention and express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Dr. Kevin Strathy and his wife Natu Strathy, who worked diligently and with dedication to make this hospital operational and ready for opening today. They left their home and lives in Miami, Florida, and came to Liberia at my request to set up a burn unit, which is urgently needed in this country.”
Dr. Weah particularly hailed the Governments and People of India, China, and the United States of America, acting through their respective Embassies near this Capital, for what he called “their invaluable contributions to the success of this project.”