The long awaited Buutuo border ferry in Nimba County is expected to start operation anytime this month, according to the administrative assistant to the City of Binhouye, an Ivorian border town.
Speaking to the Daily Observer at the Buutuo border on March 4, administrative assistant Moustapha Diary stressed on reconciliation and peaceful co–existence between the sisterly countries to boost socio-economic activities.
He said since Liberia and Ivory Coast are members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), “it is prudent to share together as a family.”
“We are Africans and ECOWAS citizens; and therefore, we need peace and security,” he said.
Ivory Coast is spearheading the construction of the giant size ferry, which is able to transport 18 wheeler trucks, according to the office of the Binhouye City Mayor.
It is not clear how much it would cost the Ivorian authorities to build the ferry, but during a brief visit to the Ivorian side of the border, contractors were busy dredging the Cestor River to enable the ferry to move freely.
The border port of entry was among the leading rural ports in the past in terms of revenue collection, but the prolonged civil crisis brought setbacks, leaving the Buutuo–Bahn highway in a deplorable state.
It is reported that the local Ivorian authorities near the border with Buutuo have always taken the initiative to construct a ferry for the crossing point.
According to a Buutuo resident, this recently constructed ferry is the largest yet to be used at the Buutuo border.
“Local Binhouye authorities, headed by City Mayor Gueu Josephine, are concerned about the restoration of social and economic activities on both sides of the border to strengthen our reconciliation,” Diary said.
It is also reported that the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) tried to reconstruct the ferry to further trade along the border, but that the effort never materialized.
“This ferry will surely boost trade along this borderline and also bring relief to traders,” said a motorcyclist who has observed work at the border.
Meanwhile, the office of Binhouye Mayor has called on the Liberian government to rehabilitate the Bahn–Buutuo road to ease the movement of goods and services.