GANTA, Nimba – As Liberia prepares to celebrate its 170th year of independence, citizens of Doe Administrative District in Nimba are expressing their frustration with the bad road conditions in that part of the county.
Commissioner Paul N. Whyee said the July 26 holiday will not be celebratory for residents of his district because the road between Ganta and Tappita is essentially disconnected.
“The road between Kpaytuo and that of Loyee is getting very, very difficult,” Whyee said. “The situation is just embarrassing – you have about 200 cars parked to that place, and they cannot find their way on this side.”
During holiday seasons, Liberians usually go shopping in larger cities like Monrovia and Ganta. Business owners in smaller cities like Tappita expect much demand from their customers and need to procure goods, but the bad roads, exacerbated by the rainy season, have not made such journeys easy.
“Rice finished from Tappita,” the commissioner said. “The trucks are there and cannot make their way here to bring goods for the business people.”
Whyee appealed to the Ministry of Public Works to come to the aid of the district: “If nothing is done sooner, the road will be completely cut off when the rain gets heavy.”
Although there are earthmoving equipment for road maintenance available to Nimba, the county has been only focused only on feeder roads and streets within major cities. Major routes such as the Ganta-Yekepa, Sanniquellie-Logatuo, and the Ganta-Tappita routes are not being maintained.
“We have so many equipment in Nimba here, and if they take the contract and give it to the Nimba County Administration, they will definitely have the county at heart and do the work properly,” Whyee added, suggesting that the Ministry of Public Works rent the equipment from the county.
On the contrary, the commissioner said Public Works had given the contract to a company that is “nowhere to be found on the road.”
“We don’t even know their location,” he said. “Only their empty trucks we see parked right at Loyee Hill.”
Speaking from his field office in Ganta, the resident engineer of Nimba, G. Francis Carter, told The Bush Chicken that there are plans in place to have the road accessible during the rainy season, and that maintenance on the road is ongoing.
“There is a two-year contract agreement already in place between the Government of Liberia and [the Modern Development and Management Corporation],” Carter said. “MDMC is around Grand Gedeh, and they have assured me through their chief engineer that they are making ready their equipment to return to the road between Ganta and Tappita.”
Meanwhile, Carter expressed his disappointment that the police has not done enough to keep heavy trucks off the Ganta-Tappita road. There is currently an announcement being aired on local radio stations throughout Nimba prohibiting vehicles weighing more than 20 tons from using the road.
“Those long and heavy vehicles are the ones damaging the road,” he added. “They are carrying weights that are more than what they should be carrying, especially where we are now in the rainy season.”
Featured photo courtesy of Michael W. Pewu/FAO