A week ago, I travelled to Robertsport, the capital of Grand Cape Mount – located in western part of the country, to assess its tourism potential.

My expectations of Robertsport were high. I expected to see improved infrastructure, even socially and economically, since my last visit there three years ago.

However, things turned out to be the opposite. Although the city has a huge potential for tourism, which still remains largely untouched or undeveloped, nothing has changed in terms of infrastructure and social and economic development.

My first depression came about when the taxi I was in turned off the paved road leading to the Liberia-Sierra Leone border, and started on the road to my destination, which was unpaved and muddy.

Though the country has not fully entered the rainy season, during which most of the roads are in a deplorable state, the one leading to Robertsport has started to disintegrate, and will get worse during the rainy season.

Despite the rough ride to the city, when I arrived, I was delighted to experience the beauty of Robertsport and its undeveloped tourist spots, which still has lots to offer visitors.

I took a canoe ride over Lake Piso, saw the bay mouth of the lake connecting the Atlantic Ocean, visited historical sites, and the famous Massatin Island,, home to monkeys and different bird species.

Nevertheless, the happiness was short lived as the city is still undeveloped, and still the way it was during my previous visit there. The city’s infrastructure is old, most buildings with tourism potential lie in ruins, there are no recreation centers or parks, and day or night, the city is dead.

Once a beautiful place before the civil war, Robertsport can only boast of having one bank, without an ATM, no restaurants, no supermarkets, not even an internet café. There is also no electricity.

The only hotel in town is very expensive, though it lacks a bar, gym or spa.

In addition, the city is filthy, as heaps of rubbish surrounds it; and worst of all, the city has a very poor internet connection; you even have to walk up a hill to get mobile internet connection.

Meanwhile, Robertsport’s fishery industry has not improved; it remained stagnant like the way I left it years back. Also, half of the communities are covered in bushes, as if to say ‘nobody lives around here.’

Moreover, since the city’s infrastructure has not improved, the economic wellbeing of the people looks worse than people in the Monrovia. Although the people appear happy, they are materially poor. Very Poor! Socially, the 21st century youth of Robertsport are living like it’s the 20th century.

Sadly, Robertsport is not the only city facing this challenge; Tubmanburg, Bopolu, Greenville, Cestos City and Barclayville, just to name a few, fall into this same category. They are lagging behind in everything; and it is sad to say that people are still living like in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The bushes surrounding half of the city’s paved road

Authors

5 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks! To the writer/reporter. No matter what is done, in terms of supports, development of regional Liberia depends for the most part on the citizens/inhabitants of the regions. In some cases, everyone wants to be cleaned; but no one wants to touch the dirt. Garbage removals should be the responsibility of everyone. Everybody must play their part… To attract the TOURISTS, there must be “GOOD SANITATION and SECURITY”; then, everything else will fall in place.

  2. I hate to say, “Liberian people are really funny.” Most of our economic problems are self-inflicted. As the saying goes, “We shoot ourselves in the foot all the time.”

    We are always comparing ourselves to other beautiful countries and wondering why we are so undeveloped? Do we really study these economically developed countries (some within Africa) to find out what are they doing right, and what are we doing wrong?

    How is our political structure any different from theirs? How is our economic structure any different from theirs? What antiquated laws do we have in our constitution that are preventing us from moving forward?

    Liberians take pride because our founding fathers modeled Liberia on the American structure of government, but we fail to realize that our Constitution is structured in such a way that Liberia denies citizenship to people of non-negro descent? How do we expect expatriates of non-negro descent who have the economic means of developing Liberia to keep their money in Liberia when we do not give them legal rights to become citizenship of Liberia?

    Secondly, we deny dual citizenship to our fellow Liberians living in the Diaspora who have the financial means of developing Liberia. Do we realize that many Liberians living in Liberia do not have the financial resources to develop Liberia? With economic hardship facing many Liberians, where manufacturing jobs are lacking, and unemployment is astronomically high, many Liberians do not have the financial means of creating jobs.

    Also, how will Liberia develop without the help of foreign expertise when the country is experiencing massive brain-drain, coupled with poor infrastructure, and the lack of technical and entrepreneur skills? These developmental barriers coupled with chronic corruption are just some of the reasons why many parts of Liberia are not developed.

    Liberians have the tendency of flocking to The Great United States of America, or other Western Nations for jobs, for education, and for other economic and political reasons. We contribute enormously to these foreign nations’ success and take on their citizenship.

    Why don’t we do the same for our country: change our antiquated immigration laws to attract foreign talents to make our country successful! Instead, we deny people of non-negro descent citizenship in Liberia, and we even deny our fellow Liberians who live in diaspora dual-citizenship. How do we expect our country to develop with these antiquated laws and limited talents?

    In conclusion, The United States liberal citizenship policy attracts people from all nations….some of the brightest, the wealthiest and other migrants that have made the United States a great nation. No wonder, the U.S. A. is so developed and Liberia is so underdeveloped.

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