Beyond the Lens: Robertsfield Highway

This photography editorial captures vibrant images seen along the Robertsfield Highway, some of the first sights that travelers arriving at the Roberts International Airport in Unification City, Margibi will see.

A fisherman shows off his catch from his recent voyage along the Farmington River. The river swoops from near the Firestone rubber plantation and dumps into the Atlantic Ocean. A new hotel opposite the Roberts International Airport, which sits on the river’s banks, was recently completed and named the Farmington Hotel.

“Buy your crawfish here,” a woman shouts as cars zoom by along the highway as she sells freshwater crustaceans gathered from nearby rivers and streams.


A palm wine vendor along the highway has packaged his product in used water bottles. The beverage can be sourced from the sap of at least two species of palm trees found in Liberia and has an alcoholic content of approximately four percent.


Along the Farmington River, a coal seller transports his coal to the town formerly known as Smell-No-Taste and now known as Unification Town. An NPR article had the following quote from historian James Ciment, explaining the origin of the name: “During World War II, Liberia became an important trans-Atlantic landing site for military flights, as Liberia is the closest point between the Americas and Africa… To guard the runways (as well as the country’s critical rubber plantations), the United States posted several thousand black GIs there. Their base was off-limits to most of the Liberians, but the smell of all that abundant American food cooking drifted beyond the base’s perimeter, hence the name.”


One of the many species of birds flying around Liberia. This species appears to be a type of heron or egret.


All photos by Lloyd Massah


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