… plus 62 more in September
Sasstown’s senior citizens (elderly) — known to be vulnerable — who have lived in dilapidated mud-and-thatch houses up to now, are expected to formally get free and modern ‘family houses’ under the Presidential Pro Poor Housing Units project.
The Housing Units (27ft x 25ft) comprise two bed rooms, a living room, bathroom and two porches.
The ramshackle thatched houses were marked for replacement by the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) to allow only “senior citizens” of Sasstown, Grand Kru County, to benefit from the Presidential Pro Poor Housing Units.
The Building Construction Company (BCC) was contracted to build 170 housing units in six of the nine towns in Sasstown while Mobel is due to construct 33, also in the six towns.
The legatee towns include Jekwikpo, Felorkri, Daryokpo, Kitea, Klaydia and Kunie. Norkwia, Sloyee and Wessah towns are the only towns in Sasstown, which are not included.
The BCC is expected to complete 108 units, while Mobel would erect 33 units to be publicly turned over by the end of August.
The turning over program will be attended by the Grand Kru County Legislative Caucus, the County Leadership, Ministry of Internal Affairs, LACE, BCC management and the beneficiaries.
Mr. Joe Jojo, the Supervisor of BCC, said as of Wednesday, 86 of the units have been fully completed in Jekwikpo and Felokri of Sasstown. He said the remaining 22 in Daryokpa, Kitea, Kunie and Klaydia will be ready.
A staff of Mobel, who asked not to be named, said 20 of its 33 targeted housing units are fully completed while the remaining 13 will also be ready for the end-of-August turning over.
“We have been here since 2019 February and we are happy to say we have 86 houses completed. Other houses are nearing completion. Some need painting, others need plastering and others need roofing,” Joe said.
“We are sure that by the end of the month, we will complete 108 houses for the first phase of the official turning over,” Joe noted.
According to Joe, the outstanding 62 housing units are expected to be completed hopefully in September.
Though BCC and the Mobel officials are tightlipped on the overall cost of the 203 units which are to be built only in Sasstown, the Daily Observer has gathered that the estimated cost is about US$3.6 million — and each of the units is put at US$18,000.
Mr. Joe told the Daily Observer that the ongoing 24 housing units in Grand Cess has been halted because of conflict between the BCC contractors and the youth.
There are unconfirmed reports that the rigmarole was allegedly prompted by contractors denigrating their cultures, while another account suggests that the commotion stemmed from a protest against the backdrop that most of the older people — elders were left out during the marking of the Presidential Pro Poor Housing Units.
Meanwhile, the Daily Observer has gathered that about 70 Housing Units have been occupied by the beneficiaries ahead of the formal turnover.
However, Joe, in response, said the housing units were temporarily turned over in consultation with the County Leadership because the beneficiaries appealed to relocate because of the “leakages” of their thatched houses.
Furthere, the BCC has also constructed a Pro Poor House for President George M. Weah and, according to unconfirmed reports, that house cost about US$55,000.