Bad Roads Remain a Major Challenge in River Cess

YARPAH TOWN, River Cess – The poor conditions of roadways in River Cess is causing a major concern, as the number of accidents are increasing and the county’s poor connectivity is impacting the earning potentials of local farmers and businesses.

During the rainy season, it takes individuals nearly a week to reach Buchanan from River Cess on a 65km road that links Grand Bassa to River Cess.

Lately, there have been several accidents due to the condition of the road, including recent scenes involving a logging truck.

A logging truck fell off the road in Yarpah Town. Photo: Eric Duoe

A logging truck fell off the road in Yarpah Town. Photo: Eric Duoe

Internal travels also become much more difficult for commuters as wooden bridges are all damaged.

A town chief in Central River Cess District, Sampson Toby, said his people are suffering due to the poor conditions of a 40 km road in his district.

“This road helped us a lot when it was still [in] good condition,” he said. “We took our farm products from the farm straight to the market, but for now, this is not happening because of the condition of the road.”

According to the chief, the road has been cut off since 2003 and the county’s authorities have failed to notice.

“The plank committee office is right in Yarpah Town, but they can’t even take some of the planks to repair some of these bridges,” Toby said. “We only depend on farms to get money, but we can’t sell our goods because of the rain.”

Several other feeder roads like the ones connecting Geezay Judu, Neezwein and Barkay Towns are badly damaged and commuters sometimes risk their lives to ride on motorcycles to cross dangerous bridges.

A motorist crosses a bridge with a woman and her two kids. Photo: Eric Duoe

A motorist crosses a bridge with a woman and her two kids. Photo: Eric Duoe

The ubiquity of water resources such as the county’s sprawling coastline and the Cestos and Timbo Rivers suggests that water transport would be an attractive option. Unfortunately, like many other areas in the county, the lack of investment means there are no speedboats, ferries, or other safe means of water transportation. Residents sometimes risk their lives traveling on dangerous canoes that are prone to capsizing.

The resident engineer of the county has not yet commented on the county’s efforts to ensure road safety, but the county inspector, Trokon Browne, said the logging company EJ&J would soon begin maintenance on some of the roads.

Featured photo by Eric Duoe

Eric Doue

Eric Opa Doue is a co-founder of Echo Radio Station, which does a series of programs in Bassa, Kru, and simple Liberian English. Under his leadership, Echo Radio was selected as one of the Moody Radio global partners for training opportunities in 2013 and 2014. Eric was one of a handful of reporters who received training from Internews in 2015 on humanitarian reporting during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. He holds a diploma in Journalism, from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

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