Floods overtake Saclepea-Ganta Highways

GANTA, Nimba – A two-day downpour of heavy rains has flooded the Ganta-Saclepea road and left hundreds of commuters stranded.

The road is the only way from Saclepea to Ganta, a major commercial city where basic commodities are purchased and transported to the rest of Nimba. Moreover, the route is also the quickest way through Nimba to the southeastern counties.

Young men have taken advantage of the flooding by waiting to assist stranded commuters for compensation.

“We are very sorry for the county,” said Aaron Quie, a young man assisting travelers along the road. “Every year this thing can happen… the water can cover the whole road. For people to pass, [it] can be very hard.”

Travelers make their way along a flooded portion of the Saclepea-Ganta highway. Photo: Arrington Ballah

Commercial motorcyclists are especially affected by the flooding. Emmanuel Mantor, one such motorcyclist from Saclepea who regularly travels along the route, said he hopes presidential and representative candidates pay close attention to the road.

“When they get [in office], the first thing for me that I want them to do is to work on the road,” Mantor said.

However, the flooding is not a particularly new phenomenon as it happens every year. One resident of Kpain, Constant Bartuah, told The Bush Chicken he was tired of unfulfilled promises from politicians.

“During the campaign, people can come to us telling us, ‘Vote for me. There will be good road connections,’” he said. “But see ourselves today – this kind of condition, where you have children coming around to push your motorbike for us to cross – this is very discouraging.”

Bartuah called on the both the county authorities and central government to build larger bridges to avoid the frequent flooding.

Constant Bartuah wants the authorities to build better bridges to prevent flooding. Photo: Arrington Ballah

Earlier this year, the government announced that it had secured US$200 million to pave the road between Ganta and Zwedru, in Grand Gedeh, which would include the currently flooded portion from Ganta to Saclepea. However, no specific timeline has been provided on when the work will begin.

Meanwhile, regular maintenance is being conducted on the road through the Feeder Road Alternative Maintenance Program being carried out by the Ministry of Public Works. The process is being done at a slow pace due to heavy rains.

Featured photo by Arrington Ballah

Arrington Ballah

A resident of Ganta, Nimba County, Arrington has a background working with credit unions and other organizations dedicated to rural finance.

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