Advantages Beautiful country and beautiful people
Disadvantages Very dangerous
A secular essay on Liberia...Liberia is a beautiful republic with a fascinating history, based on the repatriation of slaves from America mixing with the old tribesmen. She is in west Africa, sitting next to Sierra Leone and Guinea to the north, Côte d'Ivoire to the east and Atlantic Ocean to the south west.
The land is flat by the ocean, but it rises steeply into a chain of plateaux and on to a mountainous inland country region of around 4000 feet above sea level that is evergreen rainforest in the south and deciduous rainforest in the north.There is a very small population inland, as most of the towns and villages are near to the ocean. The flat land is around ten to fifteen miles wide on average. There are many rivers running down from the jungle to the sea.
Liberia is equatorial and very humid. There are two rainy seasons (June/July and October/November) when it rains so much that travel is almost impossible. On the flat coastal lands it is normal to have 70 inches of rainfall in a year compared with about 20 inches in London, but in London it rains on days throughout the year, whereas in Liberia all this rain falls in the four months of the rainy seasons, so you can imagine the deluge! Temperatures are always around 80 to 85° F.Before the civil war started in earnest her economy was based on farming. Because of the rivers there is much fertile land and plenty of water for crops that included figs, cotton, mahogany hardwoods, and palms, but much of the economy was based on the production of rubber for the Firestone Company, which had a huge investment in Liberia and was the country’s biggest employer.
Now, the country has to rely on foreign aid to prevent the people from starving, but we used to export coffee and cacao. The people have gardens in which they grow bananas and vegetables, but mostly sweet potatoes. The various palms that are grown are used for soap oils and palm fibresThere was also much mining of iron ore, and this, together with rubber was the major export since independence. Before independence, the biggest export was slaves to the Americas.
We used to have many pygmy hippopotamuses, and proud herds of elephant, and buffalo, but these animals, as well as the monkeys, and chimps have suffered because of the civil war and are now very few in number.The Liberian people are from different cultures including the Kpelle tribe which is about 25% of the population, the Bassa, the Gio, the Kru (who are ocean boatmen), the Vai. the Mande and Kwa tribes. There is also a small group that was descended from slaves who returned from the United States. We are known as Americo-Liberians and although we are only about 5% of the population, we were in charge of building the country and running the public services.
Of the two million Liberians, at least 25% are forced to live in exileMonrovia (named after US president, James Monroe) is the capital and the important seaport of Liberia with about half a million souls. Buchanan, was the railway town, carrying iron ore to the ships from Mount Nimba mines before the civil war.
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