The European Union Ambassador to Monrovia, Ms Tiina Intelmann, has participated in a two-day visit to inspect ongoing construction of the road from Monrovia to Ganta and the Guinea border.
Liberia’s Minister of Public Works, Gyude Moore, headed the visitation to register progress and interact with contractors and local people along the construction line. This major infrastructure project is funded from different sources.
According to a press release issued from the EU office near Monrovia, the European Union is the largest contributor at 44 % with European Union member countries; Germany, Sweden, UK, Ireland providing additional contributions, as have Norway and Licus Trust Fund.
“This is a considerable grant that Europe has given to the people of Liberia, without any obligation of refund, to help Liberia overcome serious development challenges”, said Ambassador Intelmann.
“We are doing this as a show of solidarity and the World Bank, that is administering the contract, has further given a loan to Liberia to help finance these works. We are sure that the road, if properly maintained, will last and serve Liberians for many years”, said the EU Ambassador.
Participants of the visit received a thorough briefing from two Chinese construction companies implementing the works.
Ambassador Intelmann was pleased to discover that the Gbarnga-Ganta-Guinea border road is ahead of schedule. Due to Ebola, the construction works were suspended from September to December 2014, so an extended period of 4 months was given this year, to complete the works.
The contractors have now recovered one month and they are now due to complete in July 2015, the release said.
She was extremely impressed with the work that they have achieved to date and has expressed the hope of donors to see work completed and to participate in the inauguration of the road in a few months.
The contracts with the Chinese contractors come in two parts: during the first couple of years the road is built. Thereafter the contractor provides the maintenance of the road for seven or eight years after the construction is completed. In 2024, the maintenance of these roads then becomes the obligation of the Government of Liberia.
The road is built in different stages: the 70km Gbarnga-Ganta-Guinea border strip will be completed in July this year; the 175 km piece from Monrovia-Coca Cola Factory to Gbarnga is expected to be completed next year.
All participants in the visit expressed satisfaction with the work of the contractors and great appreciation of the fact that a great number of Liberians have been trained to participate in the works, including operating complicated machinery. In fact, Liberians make up 90% of the staff working on both sections of the Road.