A major and dangerous crossing point on the Yarr River between Gbeyi Tengbein and Yeahyee in Saclepea Statutory District, Nimba County, is now safe for travelers and the residents of that district since they now have a ferry.
Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai made the ferry available to the locals when District Commissioner Jefferson Gookor requested his assistance to enable residents to have easy trade links with other parts of the district.
When Commissioner Gookor made the request in December last year, Vice President Boakai provided US$3000 to build a ferry that operators will use to safely and easily transport commuters across the river.
During this reporter’s recent visit to the riverside, travelers were heard praising the Almighty God for speaking to Veep Boakai, and expressed their delight that they would no longer worry because the ferry has replaced the canoe that made crossing dangerous for them over the years.
“At least people can sit in this ferry and relax, unlike the canoe in which we squat and shake,” a traveler said.
Meanwhile, other residents raised concern that the size of the ferry is small to be worth the amount Veep Boakai provided.
Efforts to reach Mr. Gooker about this concern did not materialize as his phone was switched off.
Nevertheless, one of the ferry operators said a large ferry would be hard to control during violent waves or storms. The crossing point is on record for several instances when canoes capsized resulting in loss of lives and properties.
“In 1996 a canoe capsized in the river and nine persons drowned,” the ferry operator recalled.
It may be recalled that last year a canoe loaded with rubber, two motorcycles and passengers capsized, leaving two dead.
The route through this crossing point is strategic to the residents of that part of electoral district #8. There are four big towns across the river in Gbeyi Clan, with over 15 towns and villages in Zahn Clan. People from these towns and villages cross the river every Tuesday to go to the market in Saclepea.
The route is also busy with people hailing from towns and villages in the mentioned clans, who live in Saclepea for reasons including school, and have to travel almost every weekend across the river to visit their families.
During the height of every rainy season, the Yarr River overflows its bank thus making it almost impossible for commuters to cross. The presence of the ferry, observers say, would give hope to people crossing during the rainy season. In the dry season, not much threat is posed to travelers as the river dries up, and people can walk on the riverbed to get across.