Amid national “lockdown”
Concern is said to be mounting in Nimba about whether the government has eased movement between Nimba and Monrovia, as was announced during the declaration of a State of Emergency by President George M. Weah over a week ago.
The concern comes as normal commercial traffic appears to have resumed between Monrovia and Nimba, despite the state of emergency lock-down imposed on Nimba, Grand Kru, Margibi and Montserrado counties, where cases of the deadly COVID-19 have been recorded.
The lockdown measure forbids all commercial vehicles from plying to these counties, except for vehicles carrying freight. But, the restriction appears not to be holding as a flurry of commercial cars carrying passengers, can be seen leaving or entering Nimba daily from Monrovia.
“We thought that the road was closed for passenger cars, but we’re seeing the commercial cars still running like before,” observed Wata Kamara, a vegetable producer and resident of Baila along the Gbarnga -Ganta highway. “With the presence of army personnel at the various border points between Bong, Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties to enforce the lock-down, we don’t’ expect for the movement of passenger cars to be like this,” she declared.
The fare from Ganta to Monrovia, currently is L$3500 per passenger on taxis and 2500 on buses, respectively.
When contacted, the City Mayor of Ganta Mr. Amos Suah said he is not aware of any resumption of commercial traffic between Ganta and Monrovia, adding, “all I know is soldiers are assigned at the boundary with Bong.” Recently, the NPHIL in one of their regular press briefing, published in this paper said over 300 possible contacts are outside their communities and roaming the streets of Monrovia thus making it very difficult for contact tracers to track them.
Police Traffic Duty Commander for Ganta, Wilson Nyanama, said the Liberia National Police detachment in the county has been keeping track of the movement of commercial cars and issuing warnings, but said they have begun parking cars, that try to violate the lock-down policy. He confirmed the Ganta Mayor’s statement that soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia are posted at the boundary between Nimba and Bong counties to stop cars from crossing between the two counties.
In Ganta, businesses continue to be very active during the time allotted by government for people to be out. Restaurants and other shopping areas, including building material stores and entertainment centers (night clubs and drinking spots) are running and well attended during government’s prescribed hours.