Bad Roads Creating Boom in Sea Travel

A fleet of Fanti canoes that transport fish

Due to the deplorable condition of feeder roads in most coastal communities of Sinoe County, many citizens travel by Fanti transport canoes to get to their destinations.

A tour of the coastal parking lot in downtown Greenville City, Sinoe County revealed loads of goods stockpiled in a warehouse, waiting to be transported along with many passengers to their destinations.

N. Wish Dapae, a public school principal in Nanakru Dugba River District, told the Daily Observer that one of the easiest ways of getting to the district is by sea, on a Fanti canoe.

He said the Fanti canoe is cheap and reaches destinations without difficulties.

“There is no good road network to our village, this is why we prefer traveling by sea and on these Fanti canoes,” he said.

“We spend huge money to travel by land, but the car or motorbike cannot reach us to our final destination, and we will walk some hours before reaching our village,” said Jefferson M. Doe, a passenger.

Other passengers explained that sea transport is safer, much better and easier than traveling by land. Some of the canoes can reportedly carry over 50 drums of petroleum products per trip.

“The load we have in the warehouse cannot be transported by land to reach our homes but the canoe can reach us right behind our house,” a lady passenger on board one of the canoes added.

In an interview with Supt. Prosperous K. Brown on Tuesday, May 2, he named poor road network as one of the greatest challenges facing Sinoe County. He said the county administration is pursuing logging companies transporting through Sinoe to assist.

Greenville is regaining its postwar status after years of lying in ruins from the prolonged civil war, but the lack of road connectivity remains one of the greatest challenges to its development agenda.

Though sea transport on canoes is safe, but it may recalled that in 2009 a number of Liberians died at sea in Maryland County when a boat from Monrovia capsized at the port of Harper, under bad weather conditions.

“Sometimes, when the sea is rough, we put a big rock in the sea as an anchor. We have to do that sacrifice to reach our destination,” said fisherman Nyuman.


  1. Someone should research the use of ROWBOATS for sea transportation in Liberia in the 1940s, 50s and possibly into the 60s. I remember the 1950s as my maternal grandfather was a boat carpenter for the Dutch OAC company in Lower Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. The boats transported significant goods and passengers from Monrovia and other coastal counties.


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