Citizens of Gbahn and nearby communities in Nimba County electoral district eight have threatened to reject guest house constructed for them with funding from ArcelorMittal through the county authority.
The citizens of the town said they received US$30,000 from ArcelorMittal as benefit to them as project affected communities (PACs). Gbahn and other farming communities near the railroad received this amount from the company due to the heavy sound from the automobile, the destruction of their cash crops among others.
Gbahn is nearly 5 kilometers from the commercial hub of Ganta enroute to the southeastern part of Liberia.
According to our reporter who visited the district recently, citizens of the district are disenchanted over the alleged misapplication of their deserved benefits as (PACs).
Displaying an architectural design of their selected guest house, the citizens said in collaboration with the architect arrived at constructing six-bed-room guest house taking into consideration the amount of (US$30,000) they have available.
Explaining the commitment of the citizens, the Development chairman of the town, James Gatei said the citizens produced the bricks, land and other essential domestic materials for the project, yet the unnamed company couldn’t meet their dream of having a modern guest house.
Since its completion, the guest house has never been used by the targeted communities as it has only an entry point without any point of exit and it lacks electricity and water facilities.
They further told our reporter that instead of constructing the six-bed-room, the unnamed company constructed four-bedroom guest house with two bathrooms, small sitting room and a dining room, besides, the handpump is malfunctioning, building currently has leakages despite it being new.
The citizens quoted the contractor that the building was constructed for US$26,000, but argued that the building doesn’t meet such amount. According to them, besides the substandard nature of the building, the amount of U$4,000 is missing without accountability.
The citizens of the communities are calling on the county authority of Nimba to ensure said amount is made available and comprehensive appraisal is done on the building or else they will reject the building and they will not rest.
According to Gatei, when made available, the amount in question will be used to electrify the town and also provide water and electricity facilities for the guest house.
When contacted, the Development Superintendent of Nimba County, Macpherson Davies told our reporter that the county’s leadership is not aware of such project and they haven’t received any complaint from them as aggrieved citizens.
“They have not reported that to us and I am not aware of that. That is an emerging development that we have to follow. If they have contracted a contractor that is billed without us ensuring that the valuable of the money is given them, it becomes a problem,” he said.
Davies said he doesn’t know how the contracting agreement was like and they have not had any agreement with Saye Miannah, saying it might have been through their Representative and it is a different thing.
“What I know of is Honorable Younquoi has an earmarked project that was done through that contracting firm you talking about and they have some pitfalls in backfilling of a bridge that they constructed and we had to send our yellow machine to help them, but besides that I am not aware of anything,” he said.