The Commissioner of West Point Township on Bushrod Island, Samson T. Nyan, has called on residents of the township to stop blasting dynamites for fishing expedition under the King Zolu Duma Bridge and the Gabriel Tucker Bridge, respectively over the Measurado River. Both bridges connect UN Drive and Bushrod Island to the main city centre.
He said throwing dynamites into the river threatens the viability of the bridges and undermines their lifespan, which will eventually have negative impacts on development initiatives.
Commissioner Nyan made the call on Monday, June 15, 2015, when the Deputy Public Works Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Jackson Paye along with Chief Superintendent Jonny Z. Duaryenneh, Deputy Chief of Patrol of the Liberia National Police and the Commissioner of Garworlor Township, Madam Willamette Godding Carlos, visited West Point Township as part of a tour of several communities, including Caldwell and Jamaica Road.
He indicated that illegal sand mining is rampant in Montserrado as well as throwing of dynamites, stressing that something needs to be done immediately to stop people from engaging in such acts. Commissioner Nyan has however lauded Minister Paye and his entourage for visiting the township and promised to launch an awareness campaign to sensitize residents against the throwing of dynamites and illegal sand mining along the river banks under both bridges.
Meanwhile the Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, at the Ministry of Public Works Jackson Paye, has threatened to take drastic legal action against anyone caught in sand mining along banks of rivers throughout the country.
Minister Paye cautioned those involved or contemplating such activities to stop the rampant and illegal sand mining because it threatens the viability of the bridges linking Caldwell, Vai Town, Waterside and Jamaica Road-Somalia Drive communities.
Paye, who is also Acting Minister of Public Works, said beginning yesterday, Tuesday, June 16, anyone caught in illegal sand mining will be arrested and turn over to the Justice Ministry for prosecution.
He made the statement Monday when he headed a tour comprising Chief Superintendent Jonny Z. Duaryenneh, Deputy Chief of Patrol of the Liberia National Police and the Commissioner of Garworlor Township, Madam Willamette Godding Carlos of bridges in Caldwell, West Point and Jamaica Road respectively.
In recent days there has been mounting public outcry about young men using dug-out canoes to engage in illicit sand mining under bridges connection Vai Town-Waterside, Caldwell and Jamaica Road, respectively.
Minister Paye warned the public to desist from buying sand from illegal miners whose intention he said, is clearly to undermine efforts of national development and recovery.
He said community dwellers will be authorized to work with officers of the Liberia National Police to keep watch in their respective communities to curtail the ugly habit and save the bridges from eventual collapse.
For her part, Garworlor Township Commissioner Madam Willamette Godding Carlos, commanded the Ministry of Public Works for the decision to prosecute anyone caught carrying out illegal sand mining throughout the country.
Commissioner Carlos said her major campaign has been to stop people from engaging in such ugly acts, but to no avail, promising to launch an awareness campaign on the danger of illicit sand mining in her township. By Bridgett Milton – Editing by Jonathan Browne