Liberia: Nobel Laureate Donates 500 Gallons of fuel to Phebe amid Fuel Shortage


Suakoko, Bong County – Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymar Gbowee, is being praised for her efforts in restoring electricity to Phebe Hospital, that has been experiencing darkness due to the lack of fuel.

Report by Selma Lomax, [email protected]

Gbowee, according to the hospital staffs, was the first to donate 500 gallons of fuel to the hospital.

Phebe, the only referral hospital in central Liberia, had stopped offering key services in recent days as fuel shortage meant they were unable to keep generators going

The Medical Director of Phebe hospital, Dr. Jefferson Sibley, last week called for urgent support to “avoid a humanitarian catastrophe driven by the lack of fuel”.  

“I work on the theory that if we can’t help one another it’s a waste of time out there,” Gbowee was quoted by Super Bongese, a community radio station in Bong County.

“I am very proud to identify with Phebe because I know what it means for a hospital that caters to over 200, 000 people.The responsibility to capacitate Phebe can’t be left with government alone.

“It’s everyone responsibility both corporate and individuals to assist in providing healthcare facilities because Phebe provides healthcare to thousands of people.” 

Dr. Sibley lauded Gbowee for the gesture and said it came at a time when the hospital was in need of fuel. 

“Words are inadequate to express how grateful I am Madam Gbowee for the farsightedness,” he said.

Dr. Sibley said he had been preoccupied with finding fuel to keep the lights on that he hasn’t found time to treat patients.

Dr. Sibley said doctors and nurses were operating in the dark, while vital medical supplies were lacking. 

“The situation was compounding the hospital’s problems because staffs can’t report to work while patients flock to the hospital,” Dr. Sibley said.

Depletion in fuel, Dr. Sibley said, led to complete paralysis in the services of the hospital, which serves more than 10,000 people in Central Liberia. “We have very frequent electricity cuts, and our machines need the power to function. If the electricity is cut for a long period, everything ceases to exist.”

“We didn’t have electricity at the hospital for a week now, and our donors were refusing to supply us because we are indebted to them,” Dr. Sibley said. 

He warned that the highly-essential services of the hospital too would be closed if the petroleum products were not provided to the hospital.

Phebe hospital needs 450 liters of fuel per month, to provide 18 hours of electricity, according to Dr. Sibley.

Dr. Sibley feared the hospital was only days away from having to shut down. “We were struggling with electricity shortage. If that had continued it would have shut the hospital doors,” he said.

He appealed to all interested parties, to work towards immediately ending the fuel crisis being faced by the hospital.