Unpaved roads worsened by heavy downpour are posing serious difficulties for citizens and residents of southeast Liberia, particularly Maryland, Grand Kru, Sinoe, River Gee, and Grand Gedeh Counties, where commuters travelling there or heading for Monrovia spend weeks.
Citizens in the five counties face challenge in coming to Monrovia to get basic commodities due to exorbitant fares levied by commercial vehicles. Transportation fares from Harper City, Maryland and Fishtown, Rivergee to Monrovia previously between 4,000.00LRD and 3,500.00LRD have increased to 6,500.00LRD and7,000.00LRD, while from Zwedru City, Grand Gedeg to Monrovia now costs 4,500.00LRD instead of 2,500.00 and 3,000.00 previously.
Commuters leaving Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties for Monrovia are being required to pay 5,500 instead of the previous 3,500 and 4,000.00LRD fares.The deplorable road condition has also led several car owners to lose their cars due to over flow of water into their engines. Over 200 commuters are reportedly stranded along the Buchanan-Rivercess road, while others are stock in the mud and cannot move in Bialla, Electoral District #4 in Nimba County due to deplorable roads.
Speaking in an interview with The New Dawn Maryland County correspondent, who traveled the road recently, a conductor onboard one of the trucks, Ojuku Biawon, laments that he has been in Bialla, Nimba for the past two weeks and risks losing food items being transported to the southeast counties of Grand Gedeh, Rivergee, and Maryland.
He says if government did not intervene through the Ministry of Public Works, these five counties would soon be cut off from the rest of the country.The road condition has also contributed to hike in commodity prices, including rice, the country’s stable and gasoline, among others. A kilogram of rice previously sold for 80.00LRD is now in the market for130LRD, while a gallon of gasoline in Harper is being sold at 480LRD, and in Barclayville, Grand Kru County, it costs 600LRD, respectively.
Stranded business people told this paper that a plate of rice in Bialla, Nimba County earlier sold between 50 and 75LRD is 100LRD, while a sachet of water is 10LRD.Speaking in separate interviews with this paper in Tians town, Grand Basss County, Madam Tonia Sheriff, who slept in the mud for over a week, complains that she has lost over $200,000LRD due to damaged goods.
he calls on government to make quick intervention on both ways leading to the southeast to enable free movement of goods and services to citizens in those parts of the country.
By George K. Momo/ Maryland-Editing by Jonathan Browne