ZWEDRU, (LINA) – The deplorable road condition is a major challenge for residents of the Southeastern counties of Grand Gedeh, Maryland, Grand Kru, River Gee, Sinoe and River Cess.
This situation, which has prompted a hike in the prices of basic commodities such as gasoline, rice, diesel fuel, as well as transportation fares, has also created difficulties in traveling, with little or no access to public facilities such as schools, hospitals and project sites by development partners, among others.
The condition becomes worse during the height of the rainy season.
During stopovers at some locations along the road leading from Ganta in Nimba County to Zwedru in Grand Gedeh County, the LINA Correspondent interacted with several residents.
A prominent businessman in Toe Town, Grand, Gedeh County told the Liberia News Agency that economic activities have declined due lack of goods on the market an offshoot of the poor road.
Gasoline is now sold at L$970.00 per gallon, while fuel oil is sold at L$$1,010.00 per gallon and a bag of 25 kg rice is sold at $3,400.00.
“Motorbike is the only means of transportation between Ganta and Zwedru, which is very expensive,” he said.
Another very bad portion of the road is around a village called Kpelle Town, about 6km from Toe Town, which has become almost impossible to navigate as vehicles, motorbikes and even people traveling on foot are finding it challenging there.
They have on many occasions appealed to the villagers to use the bypasses through their farms, and between houses to cross to other side, while passengers whose vehicles spend nights there sleep in the village.
Some travelers, especially women, beg for shelter during the night hours to sleep and the only hand pump providing safe drinking water for the villagers has become a place for bathing children and washing clothes, hands and feet for passersby.
“This is troubling and we are tired with it. Our crops in the gardens are being destroyed day-by-day; our bathrooms and bushes have become toilet sites for people who come to our town. We are begging the authorities to help us fix the road,” a 64 year-old man said.
“I don’t sleep in the night. I am security for my family because people pass through our town throughout the night. I told my son’s wife to leave the village because my son is not here and many men are giving her trouble every day,” an elderly woman said.
The stretch of the road which is about two kilometres, takes vehicles almost a day or two and sometimes four days for heavy duty trucks to crossover.
Several spots like the area in Kpelle Town in Grand Gedeh are found at many locations along the Harper to Zwedru; Zwedru to Tappita and Tappita to Ganta; Zwedru to Greenville; and Pleebo to Grand Kru highways.
This has created economic hardship for citizens of those areas, many claimed in interviews with LINA.
“The case is sometimes different during the dry season when the roads and bad spots dry up. This situation requires government’s swift intervention. Much is required to be done to remedy the long-standing bad road condition,” a traveler said.