At lone last renovation of Cape Palmas High School, the only public high school in Harper City, Maryland County, southeast Liberia has begun following massive public outcry.Cape Palmas High was badly hit by natural disaster in 2015, which left authorities of the county with no alternative but to relocate students of the institution to Level#2 formally home of the Parkistanian Contingent of the United Nations Mission in Liberia located near Lake Shepherd.
The renovation project was earlier awarded to KAHA International Construction Company in 2016 by the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education, but the company allegedly failed to complete the job.
Speaking in an interview with The NewDawn in Harper, on Tuesday, 20 June Madam Betsy Kuoh Toe, Superintendent of Maryland explains that a formal complaint has been sent to the Attorney General of Liberia to have the owner of KAHA International Construction Company, Mr. Musa Kanneh arrested and sent back to the county to account for tax payer’s money given him to execute the project.
Madam Toe discloses that Mr. Kanneh allegedly received half of the amount estimated to complete the school building, but did not make one percent progress on the building. She notes that on a daily basis, venders are trooping into her office with claims that KAHA International Construction Company owes them money for building materials credited for the renovation project, a situation, which the superintendent laments is causing embarrassment for her office.
After the company’s alleged failure to execute the contract, members of the alumni, PTA, students and prominent Marylanders intervened and later noticed that the contract was awarded to a firm that is not from the county, and immediately recommended that the owner of KAHA be arrested and prosecuted.
The concerned groups recommended to the county authorities through a written communication that the project instead, be given to a local construction firm that is in the know of what is unfolding and is capable of doing a good job.
Meanwhile, Gab-Mark, a local construction firm based in the county has been hired by the Government of Liberia through the Liberian Agency for Community Empowerment or LACE to implement the rehabilitation project.
Speaking in an interview in Harper, Mr. Gabriel Tarpeh, General Manager and one of the owners of the local firm explains that the first phase of the renovation works is completion of the roof, auditorium, portion of the door for staff offices, repairing or casting of damaged slay, fixing of the latrines, hanging of windows glasses and painting, which is expected to last for two months, putting the estimated cost at US$108,000.
Of the amount, he says US$25,000 has been provided by the county authorities as initial payment to ensure that the building is completed and ready by academic 2017/2018.
For his part, the President of Cape Palmas High School Alumni Association, Mr. Edward HneBliosiedoeStemn lauds the government for the initiative.
He says the renovation of the school since it was hit by the disaster in 2015 has been paramount to the association both home and away. He also expresses thanks and appreciation to the PTA, and the media that assisted in flagging the situation, adding that the media played a vital role in claiming the attention of national government, and calls on citizens to provide security to ensure that the materials are used for their intended purpose.
By George K. Momo/ Maryland-Editing by Jonathan Browne