The Government of Liberia seems very resolved in conducting problems-freed elections next year, announcing that interventions will be made to makeroads stable for transportation of electoral materials, including erection of physical barriers during rainy seasons and setting limits for certain vehicles in certain places.
Public Works Minister Gyude Moore announced the new measures on Wednesday, 12 October in Gbarnga, Bong County when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf dedicated 176.7km stretch of road – the single longest here that runs from Redlight in Montserrado County through Margibi County to Gbarnga, Bong County.
After cutting ribbon in Nyanforla Town, Bong County to one of the 29bridges constructed on the road, President Sirleaf suggested in Gbarnga that the road be named after Liberia’s historical female Chief the late Suakoko so that it can have a national name since it covers three counties.
She said the cost of the project was far beyond government’s capacity, and thanked partners for funding the road project. Liberia’s partners, including the EU, SIDA, USAID, Norway and Germany funded the project that cost US$92m.
Public Works Minister Moore had earlier said communication has been made to the African Development Bank to make a case that as the country heads for the 2017 presidential and representatives elections, government sees roads here as very important to the process.
He said “we” need to be able to move ballot papers across the country and security services need to move across the country as well for the elections. Moore stressed the Ministry will intervene on roads across the country, specifically citing the Ganta to Zwedru, Buchanan to Barclayville highways and other places to try to make them stable.
He said, road limits will be published and physical barriers will be built on the roads so that in the middle of the rainy season certain vehicles of certain size will not use certain places and cause more damages.
According to him, when big trucks are stuck on the way, they go on digging the road and make its condition worse during the rainy season, reiterating that the measures announced will remain in place throughout the rainy season.
The project was executed by the Chinese, currently the longest single stretch by any one contractor in the country, which hired over 950 locals. The Minister bragged that the Sirleaf Administration has built more roads than all previous administrations combined from 1847 to present, and disclosed that over the last week, the EU has again provided a grant for government to do the road linking Sanniquellie City in Liberia to Danané in neighboring Cote d’Ivoire.
He said within about a month, the Fish Town to Harper road construction project will be launched, as feasibility and designare being worked on. Liberia’s Transport Minister Madam Angela Cassell Bush said pop holesand other bad road conditions caused discomfort and high transportation fare in the past, but the project has made conditions better.
She said the Transport Ministry will work with the Liberia National Police or LNP to ensure that safety measures and laws are enforced on the road. Bong County Superintendent Madam Selina Mappy said previously, it took five hours from Gbarnga to Monrovia, but the new road has now reduced the travel time to two hours.
By Winston W. Parley