Deplorable road conditions in the Southeastern counties of Sinoe and River Cess counties is seriously impeding political and commercial developments there.
Marketers and politicians are finding it difficult to travel from one town to the other in the two counties as roads have become muddy, arresting vehicles in their tracks.
At one of the worst spots along the road between Rivercess and Sinoe, dozens of vehicles belonging to aid agencies, as well as commercial and private vehicles spend days and weeks under a heavy downpour of rains.
During our reporter's stay in Rivercess and Sinoe, he saw at least 15 vehicles owned by aid agencies, the United Nations and private individuals.
As a result of the deplorable road condition, high profile Liberian Government officials, including lawmakers from Sinoe, rely on Golden Veroleum Liberia’s helicopter to visit and tour their constituencies.
At the same time, poverty stricken citizens, residents and businesspeople are delayed in the mud for weeks along the Sinoe-Rivercess Highway.
Interviews conducted by our reporter in the two counties suggest that needed commodities are lacking because of bad roads.
Scarcity of basic commodities including food items and gasoline has resulted in skyrocketing prices.
Affected people spoken to in the area said they were finding it difficult to survive, calling on Government to take immediate action to address the situation.
Businessmen and women in the two counties stressed the need for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the highways.
Business woman Victoria Samson told the Daily Observer that besides the food shortage caused by bad road in Sinoe, and Rivercess, there is also a shortage of drugs.
At several spots on the Sinoe-River Cess highways, many of the commuters, businessmen and women, expressed grave concern over the general conditions of the roads in that South-eastern part of Liberia.
Commercial drivers currently plying the River Cess-Sinoe Counties’ roads added their anger and frustration over the deplorable conditions of the major highways in the South-east.
Citizens and residents along the two highways in Sinoe and River Cess seemed irritated, frustrated and angry over the road situation.
They squarely laid blame at the feet of the Liberian Government for allegedly awarding road construction companies that are not performing to the standards and expectations of the citizens and residents of the two counties.
According to the affected businesspeople and commuters, a week ago Public Works Minister Dr. Antoinette Weeks visited Greenville, Sinoe County on an assessment on the two roads conditions.
On their way back to Monrovia, she and her team of engineers encountered the menace of the deplorable roads on the River Cess-Sinoe highway.
Businessman George B. Brooks told the Daily Observer on Monday that Minister Weeks ordered the allotment of 15 gallons of fuel oil to the Solid Rock’s field personnel in order to rescue the Public Works vehicles from the deep mud.
Business woman Victoria Samson called on the Liberian Government to prevail on the contracting entity, Solid Rock Construction Company, to rehabilitate the deplorable spots, in order to ensure the free movement of goods, medical supplies and services to the two counties.
Madam Samson pointed out that Solid Rock Construction Company has informed the businesspeople on the two highways that staff and employees of the entity had not been paid for the past five months.
For his part, Grand Kru businessman Jefferson D. Tweh Nimely claimed that every year the Sinoe-River Cess road corridors always become impassable during the Rainy Season.
“We continue to experience diminishiing profits owing to the high cost of transportation in commercial and other public service transport providers on the River Cess-Sinoe highways,” Mr. Nimely lamented.
“I think the Liberian Government needs to award road construction contracts to companies that are based in the two counties in order to ensure effective, efficient and prompt services,” Mr. Tweh stressed.
When Solid Rock Construction Company’s field was staff contacted for comments, they declined to elaborate, only stating that they have been encountering financial difficulties for the past five months.