The major route from Ganta to Grand Gedeh and other south-eastern counties is turning inaccessible as it turns muddy with light and heavy vehicles stuck in the mud at various points along the road. This is an annual impediment to the movement of goods to those counties; a situation that causes hike in prices due to the scarcity or delay of essential commodities.
When the Daily Observer visited the Ganta–Tappita Highway on Monday, June 23 2020, several lorries carrying cargoes to the southeastern part of Liberia were seen stranded in the mud at several points along the road.
Nearly all the travelers on smaller cars were seen frustrated as they could not find their way through the heavy mud in which container carriers and other heavy duty trucks are stuck.
“We are so frustrated over how the government is delaying in constructing the road,” said Nelson Menlee, a truck driver. “Every year we encountered hardship on this road and it cannot be constructed.”
There are many bad spots of the road, mainly on the Nimba side of the highway, beginning from Gbahn, near Ganta, to Loyee and Kpaytuo and from Kpaytuo to Graie. These bad spots sometime keep lorries or smaller cars on the road for weeks before reaching their destinations, a frustrating situation keeping travelers angry as the rainy season ensues.
I spent over one week before reaching Zwedru with my goods and it cost me a lot on the road,” said Ma Martha Moore, a businesswoman.
The prevailing condition of the road now has made motorcycles to become the easy means of traveling from Ganta to Tappita and then Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.
“I paid L$10,000 on a motorbike from Zwedru to get my salary at the Ecobank in Ganta, and I am going to pay another L$10k to get back,” said a police officer.
It can be recalled that recently Nimba County District #5 Representative, Samuel Kogar, raised concern about the road and Public Works Minister Mabutu Nyenpan was invited to address the House Plenary on the matter. Concern raised by the Nimba lawmaker resulted to the hiring of CHICO, a Chinese Road construction firm, to do the maintenance work. Meanwhile, CHICO has begun carrying on intervention on the road, beginning with the spot near Graie and continuing toward Loyee so as to ease the travel frustrations.
In 2012, the road became no go zone for almost three months, creating acute hardship in the southeastern counties and other places in Nimba County.
Attempts have been made many times to pave this stretch of road from Ganta to the south-eastern counties. In 1983 the Ganta-Haper Project that began pavement from the main street of Ganta to the LPMC warehouse was started, but this project failed due to the 14-year brutal civil war that engulfed the country in 1989.
Before leaving power, the Unity Party-led Government announced securing US$200 million for pavement of the road, but since the George Weah Administration took over, not much is being heard about this project.
In similar development, the feeder road leading from Graie to Belewahlay is becoming impassable and it is likely to cut off during the height of the rainy season.
With funding from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through the Liberian Swedish Feeder Roads Project (LSFRP), 15 kilometers of this road was constructed by Chen Liberia Enterprise, while the remaining 12.50 kilometers was constructed by Solid Rock Investment, Inc.
The road work was completed in June 2016 and it was dedicated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during her tour in Nimba in February 2017.