Bad road conditions in southeastern Liberia is serious causing havoc for motorists, passengers and students who no longer use the road network because of its deplorable condition.
This situation confirms that the underdevelopment of the country is primarily the result of bad roads in every part of the Liberia.
The bad roads are mainly experienced during the rainy season when thick mud often described as ‘ocean of mud’ spread over many sections of the highway.
The road leading from Grand Bassa to other counties in the southeast is so dilapidated to the extent that vehicles plying the route have to drive through knee-deep mud.
In fact, if one is not lucky enough to own a pair of knee-high rubber boots or if one only has an old ordinary pair of school boots it would be difficult to walk through the mud, let alone a vehicle trying to get through the quagmire.
Some travellers after trying to walk through a stretch of mud would stand-still, exhausted, with both legs buried in the mud and pondering how to get out. Residents along those muddy patches of road would offer to rescue the stranded pedestrians after they have been promised some amount of cash.
Nevertheless, mud or no mud the roads are always in bad shape due to government’s failure to regularly maintain and rehabilitate the roads.
All the highways in the five statutory districts in Grand Bassa County are in terrible state including damaged bridges which are contributing to the hardship the locals are experiencing.
Recently, Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan L. Kaipay rehabilitated the highway in District #2 A, but unfortunately the bridges were not reconditioned and may not even last, according to residents.
Along the deplorable roads, houses once occupied by rural dwellers are being abandoned as the result of the mud.
Stranded passengers have moved into those abandoned huts until their vehicles can cross through the mud and continue their journey..
Meanwhile, it was a scene of a drama recently during the dedication of the Gio Town Junior High School extension project when the county leadership found it very difficult to cross the Gbankon Town mud to attend the ceremony.
The project was constructed with US$75,000 that the County Project Management Committee (PMC) provided in District #4.
The county leadership including Senators Nyonblee Karnga-Lawence and Jonathan L. Kaipay as well as lawmakers of electoral districts numbers 3 and 5, Gabriel B. Smith and Robertson N. Siahway, the county superintendent J. Levi Demman, and the PMC chair, T-Wah Bedell among others suffered the worst of the road condition when their vehicles failed to cross the mud to end the journey.
The lawmakers’ vehicles got stock in the Gbankon Town mud where they spent over an hour before some residents in the town intervened and carried them across to continue the dedicatory program.
‘’Thank God our lawmakers have also encountered the bad road conditions. We believe that they will now focus on the rehabilitation they have long overlooked to fulfil their previous respective campaign promises,’’ some of the residents told this newspaper in separate interviews.
In a related development, according to the president of the Genuine Transport Union of Liberia in Grand Bassa County, Emmett Logan, transportation fares from Buchanan to River Cess County that used to be around L$700 is now L$1000 and so forth.
The president of the motorcycle union in River Cess County, Victor Joe, told this newspaper that transportation fare from Kpui Town to Yarpa Town which was previously L$250 has now risen up to L$500 per person.