By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland county
Maryland County Superintendent George Prowd has dedicated two newly completed county development-funded projects in Karluway and Barrobo districts, respectively.
The dedicatory ceremony over the weekend brought together local authorities headed by Superintendent Prowd, Assistant Superintendent for Development, Robin Scott; projects management committee chair, Lawrence Kyen; statutory district superintendents, and district commissioners, among others.
Speaking in Karluway, electoral district#3, Superintendent Prowd said the projects are the first ever CDF projects officially dedicated since he took office in 2018.
The projects, which include a commissioner’s compound in Karluway district and a youth center in Barrobo statutory district are estimated at US$35,000 each.
He said funds for the projects were derived from the 2019 County Council Sitting, adding that though national government didn’t respond until FY 2021 before the county received US$200,000, it was great seeing residents turning out to witness such dedication.
Superintendent Prowd explained that out of the US$200,000 received, each district in Maryland county was apportioned US$35,000 to implement projects identified during the council sitting.
He said out of the amount distributed, only Karluway and Barrobo districts have completed projects while Pleebo and Harper districts are still awaiting completion.
He lauded President George Manneh Weah and the Maryland Legislative Caucus for their continued support to the county.
“Let me say thank you to this cross-section of county officials, specifically our chiefs, elders, women and youth who have come to grace this occasion today, August 19, 2022, and we’re hoping and looking forward to the government receiving our balance of US$700,000 from the Ministry of Finance, as part of our Social Development Fund”, Prowd noted.
Meanwhile, residents of Wartehken and Gbolobo Nimeken towns in Pleebo Statutory Soloden District, have expressed frustrations over the delay in the construction of a bridge that links the two towns near Cavalla River.
Expressing their frustration to this paper, some aggrieved residents lamented that since construction for the bridge started in 2021 with groundbreaking by Pleebo statutory district superintendent Aloysius Williams, there has been no sign of further progress.
They pointed out that the bridge project has been at a standstill for long without any explanation despite the fact that funds were distributed to get it done.
They alleged that US$35,000 was earmarked for the project, but later they learned that only US$10,000 has so far been utilized.
Despite the claim, statutory superintendent Aloysius Williams and development superintendent Robin Scott reassured the residents that the bridge project will be executed.
They promised that US$35,000 allotted for the bridge is available will be used for the intended purpose because the amount was derived in a resolution during council sitting in December 2019.
When contacted, PMC chairman Lawrence Kyne, said given the fact that the bridge project has been delayed, citizens have all rights to know what has caused the delay.
According to him, the delay is because of criteria set by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, disclosing that for a project to be awarded to a contractor, said contractor must be able to pre-finance about 30 to 60 percent of the total cost.
“The bridge construction project was in 2021 awarded to Sammy Group of Company [ the] succeeded in completing the basement of the bridge,” he added.
Chairman Kyne said that critical situation has been associated with the withdrawal of development funds from the bank, which is a key reason for delay in completing the project.
He said the county does not have a separate account, but a joint account with the central government.
Kyne added that before the contract was awarded to Sammy Group of Company, the contractor’s documents were all up to date but due to the delay to get money, some of their documents expired and have to be renewed.
“As it stands now, we have succeeded in getting a portion of the US$35,000 and it has been placed in the contractor’s account,” he revealed. Editing by Jonathan Browne