Welding is one of Liberia’s professional services offered throughout the country. It is a technical course taught in technical and vocational schools. Many Liberians have their interest in this field because of the huge demand for steel products on the local market. The high rate of criminality has greatly contributed to the growing demand for the product. Criminal rate in cities and villages has subjected many Liberians to using steel doors and window bars to prevent criminals from having access to their homes and business centers. Garage gates, fence gates, doors and window bars made out of metal steel are products from welding shops. Signboards are also made out of metal steel at welding shops. This article captured a local welding shop in Kakata where DFP signboard was made. Kakata is one of Liberia’s political cities. It is the capital of Margibi County.
Mr. Lawrence is the owner of the shop; he said he started learning the course as an apprentice working with his Uncle in the early 80s. He later attended the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) to advance in the field. This field provides job opportunity for many Liberians giving the huge demand for locally made steel products. Before the civil war in Liberia, many people would rather use wooden doors in their homes and business centers because steel products were expensive. This was acceptable because the country was at peace and free from too many criminal activities and armed robbery. Today, despite the high cost of the product, almost all Liberians are consumers of steel products. This is to protect their homes from the high rate of criminality caused by the 14 years of prolonged civil crisis. Companies, NGOs, schools and government institutions are all consumers.
The cost to make steel products depends on the types, sizes and designs; for instance, the cost of a steel door for a home is USD 175.00. A signboard like the one DFP ordered, costs USD 70.00, window bar would cost USD 80.00, and garage and fence gates would cost USD 500.00 to USD 1,500.00 depending on the size and design.
The time interval to complete a signboard is at most 2 days; for garage gates it takes up to 5 days.
- Collection of materials; The welder collects all the materials needed to make the signboard
- Measurement; the process begins with measuring and cutting of metals to the desired sizes of the consumer.
- Assemble metals; when the measurements are done, the welder assembles metals and have parts welded in their proper positions.