By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh
President George Manneh Weah has ignored cries of the people of Montserrado County electoral district#17, particularly residents of Brewerville Township to immediately reconstruct the damaged Clay Ashland Bridge that connects Brewerville to adjacent communities, including Virginia, Arthington and Millsburg.
The bridge built 176 years ago, collapsed in July due to heavy downpour, disconnecting the people of Clay Ashland.
The disconnection has posed serious challenge to livelihoods of residents and subsequently increased poverty in affected communities due to lack of access.
They pleaded with the President on Monday, August 15, during a townhall meeting in tears to help reconstruct the collapsed Clay Ashland Bridge, as a matter of urgency.
Brewerville City Mayor S. Bedell Fahn, II, appealed to President Weah to help reconstruct the bridge, lamenting that his people face extreme hardship in commuting from one location to another in search of daily bread and other activities.
Buttressing Mayor Fahn’s plead, youth leader Richard J. McCauley, told the NEW DAWN the collapsed bridge has also posed serious challenge to residents of two sisterly settlements, Arthington and Millsburg, particularly students and marketers.
McCauley said the only alternative now that enable residents to commute from one area to another is a temporary plank bridge erected thru self-help initiative.
This paper gathered that in 2020, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Public Works and Future Builder construction company signed an agreement to reconstruct the bridge, but nothing has been done up to its eventual collapse.
However, residents’ outcry to President Weah in the presence of Public Works Minister, Ruth Coker Collins, Montserrado County Senator Saah Joseph and Superintendent Florence Brandy seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as the President was tightlipped on their concerns.
Instead, the Liberian leader only spoke of his developmental initiatives in the district, promising to improve wellbeing of residents and to construct a center for the blinds, among other projects.
Clay-Ashland is considered one of the isolated areas in Electoral District#17, Montserrado County.
Established in 1846, the settlement was part of a colony called Kentucky In Africa, because it was settled by African-American immigrants primarily from the U.S. State of Kentucky under the auspices of the American Colonization Society.
The Kentucky society bought a 40-square-mile (100km²) site along the Saint Paul River and named it Kentucky in Africa. Clay-Ashland was the colony’s main town.