Tide turns against Liberia’s biggest slum

By Zoom Dosso (AFP)

The West Point slum is being hit by rising seas -- a consequence of global warming and coastal erosion
The West Point slum is being hit by rising seas — a consequence of global warming and coastal erosion

The fishermen, hustlers and market traders of West Point have survived two civil wars and an Ebola epidemic, but this resilient Liberian slum cannot hold back the ocean that is slowly swallowing it.

The country’s biggest township is being swallowed by the sea, tearing the heart out of one of the capital’s liveliest neighborhoods and leaving the government struggling to rehouse thousands of displaced residents.

“Sometimes at 2am when you’re sleeping the waves will go straight on top of the house. Before you come to, everybody is confused; you’re soaked with water,” said Cecelia Nimley, 56, a lifelong resident of West Point.

“The swell will just wipe away things. I sent my grandchildren to some friends and the big ones are on their own,” she said, describing losing her house and all her possessions to the waves.

The shacks are stacked together any which way, built from a variety of reclaimed materials.

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About Cholo Brooks 13769 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.