By Elijah Z. Mulbah
The rainy season is yet to begin but the road from Gbarnga to Zorzor, leading to Voinjama, Lofa County, is already a quagmire—prompting a local official to launch an early SOS call to the central government to help recondition the road.
The Town Chief of Fassama in Zorzor district, Budu Flomo, does not want to wait until the situation gets out of hand and is appealing to the government to come to their rescue.
Fassama is one of the areas most affected along the road which “is already starting to come apart and this is becoming a very serious problem for us. If we don’t try to see how this can be solved the problem may become worse,” Chief Flomo warned.
It was discovered last week that dozens of travelers and their vehicles were stuck in areas of deep mud, while drivers and their aides were finding it difficult to pull them out due to the lack of equipment.
Flomo said the current situation predicts that this year’s rainy season will be severe with constantly stranded vehicles and therefore precautions need to be taken.
He also appealed to the youth of the town to brush alongside the road to broaden it.
Chief Flomo expressed fear that if nothing is done to handle the situation right now, the bad road condition may be a setback to the electoral process in the country, especially the leeward areas. This is evident as the transporting of electoral materials within the counties becomes difficult.
Due to the deplorable condition of the road, prices have spiked on car fares, gasoline, fuel and other basic commodities, said Chief Flomo, adding, “This situation has created a serious economic hardship on us because commercial vehicles hardly venture into these dangerous areas. This leaves travelers with no other option but to use NGO vehicles at times under clandestine arrangements.”
Lofa County is normally referred to as the ‘breadbasket of Liberia’ because of its huge harvests of agricultural produce, but deplorable road connections are strangulating the county.
Farm produce like groundnuts, okra, bitterball, pepper and others rot by the roadside, where market people spend sleepless nights because vehicles transporting their goods are struck in the mud for several days.