Bomi County Superintendent Samuel Brown says the delay in accessing county development funds (CDF) is stalling improvements in the county to the extent that even farm to market roads are in deplorable conditions. He did not elaborate on why his office could not access CDF for Bomi County.
However, he pleaded with the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Liberia to provide funds to help his office side-brush the Klay Junction/Tubmanburg road and also clean Tubmanburg City, which he said was virtually overrun by tall grass.
Should the EU consent to Supt. Brown’s request, no doubt the rest of the 14 counties would take advantage of that to make similar requests, noted some witnessing the
Brown described the road linking the county to Monrovia and streets in the city leading to the health center as “life threatening.”
“We want to access pothole-free roads from Klay Junction to Tubmanburg City, and also open up the streets and alleys, but we lack the means because our only yellow machine that was functional some time ago has broken down,” Supt. Brown told the EU delegation.
The delegation, headed by Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, included two Estonian parliamentarians, Mart Nutt and Mati Raidma, who were paying a courtesy call on the Superintendent on Tuesday, November 1. Rep. Nutt is a member of the Constitutional Committee, while his colleague Raidma is an Environmental Committee member of Estonia’s parliament.
According to Ambassador Intelmann, the field trip provided the visiting parliamentarians an opportunity to learn more about EU support to Liberia and to speak directly to implementing partners and project beneficiaries about its impact.
The trip included visits to projects such as the maintenance of the 117km Monrovia-Bo-Waterside road in Grand Cape Mount County near the Liberia/Sierra Leone border, for which the EU has infused US$1.8 million. Some of the ongoing works on the road include side-brushing, filling potholes, and patching side-cracks, exercises the EU said will continue until the Liberian government is ready to repave the road.
“As part of the EU’s investment in the rehabilitation and development of Liberia’s road infrastructure, we are working with the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) to ensure long-term maintenance of the country’s paved road network,” said Amb. Intelmann.
“The contract and repair of the Bo-Waterside road began at the end of April this year and covers routine maintenance and repairs,” Ambassador Intelmann said.
However, she said the EU is supporting the rehabilitation and development of the country’s road infrastructure in a variety of ways through the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund (LRTF) to the tune of 60 million euros (about US$65 million).
The EU, together with European national governments has provided the entire grant funding the LRTF, which is administered by the World Bank, the Ambassador said.
“Through the LRTF the EU has supported the reconstruction of the Red Light-Ganta and Monrovia-Buchanan roads respectively,” she said.
According to her, the EU is currently funding the maintenance of the recently paved roads, “Because maintenance of these roads, especially the Monrovia-Ganta road, is included in the contract with the construction company, while maintenance of the other roads is through contracts with local companies, but managed by the Ministry of Public Works (MPW),” adding that initially, the EU funded road maintenance delivered by local contractors under contracts managed by MPW with EU technical assistance.
Supt. Brown lauded the delegation for all that they have done and continue to do for Liberia, while repeatedly appealing for the rehabilitation of roads in the county.
Earlier, Bomi District Commissioner Alfred B. S. Zinnah expressed gratitude to the EU-Liberia office for supporting Liberia in its development drive. Zinnah, however, appealed to Ambassador Intelmann to use her influence on EU member countries to seek more assistance for Liberia.
In response to Zinnah’s request, Intelmann expressed similar gratitude, but also for partnering with non-governmental organizations and the MPW to help Liberia, using EU tax payer’s money.