Residents and local authorities of the Cinta Township in Margibi County have blamed the Salala Rubber Cooperation and Stein Bock Liberia, for damaging the bridge over the Borlor River in the township and refusing to repair it.
(L-R) Mr. Anthony S. Varney, partial view of the Damage Bridge and Ma. Massa Sackie
The bridge, located in Nyenka Town in Cinta, was broken as a result of heavy weight materials transported by the companies, the residents complained.
Speaking to The NewDawn recently in the township, Cinta general town chief, Anthony S. Varney, narrated that all of the planks used to renovate the bridge have depreciated.
Chief Varney said pieces of iron used to construct the bridge, have fallen apart, making commuters crossing on it vulnerable. He said the current condition of the bridge is very deplorable and could cause disaster in the township, stressing that the Salala Rubber Corporation and Stein Bock managements do not care for the well being of the citizens.
Chief Varney said he has spoken to the media about the situation on several occasions and presented monthly reports to central government, informing that the companies were risking his people’s lives. The local chief noted that the bridge connects Wea Clan which he heads in Cinta and Borlorla Township in Margibi County.
He said residents of the area continue to complain about the bridge, decrying SRC and Stein Bock Liberia, the two main users of the facility. According to him, Stein Bock transports rocks in trucks across the bridge while the Salala Rubber Corporation uses the bridge to transport rubber and heavy duty materials.
For her part, chief Massa Sackie of Nyenka Town said villagers risk their lives to pass on the bridge, which is completely damaged. She said commuters usually leave as early as 4:00 A.M. to go to work, using the bridge, many of whom are employees of the SRC plantation.
When contacted via mobile phone, SRC Human Resource Manager, Jallah Mensah, declined to comment on the issue because according to him, it has not officially reached his attention. Stein Bock Liberia Block Manager, Andrew Yancy, lamented that there was no need for the chiefs to alarm over the status of the bridge because Stein Bock and SRC have always repaired the bridge.
Drivers face passenger drought
A New Dawn’s investigation has established that commercial drivers plying the Monrovia-Kakata route face serious passenger shortage daily as a result of the Ebola outbreak in the country. In an exclusive interview with a driver plying the Weala-Kakata highway, Tengbeh Edward, he said since the outbreak of the disease in Liberia, traffic has been very tedious for commercial drivers as commuters are not travelling as frequently as before.
Tengbeh said on a daily basis, they hustle and tussle over those few passengers journeying from one destination to another because people are not travelling in mass due to Ebola fear. He said sometimes, passengers refuse to pay the required fares and drivers are constrained to settle for a compromised fare just to get a day’s report money.
The driver, who said he has no problem with the government’s recent mandate that taxi cabs should carry three passengers in the back and one in the front seat, added that the fare from Weala to Kakata, previously L$125, has been increased to L$150 per passenger due to the restriction.
Tengbeh said prior to the restriction, four passengers sat in the back seat and two were allowed in the front seat, but this has changed, compelling drives to devise strategies to make up for those vacant spaces in the car.