The rehabilitation of the road connecting one of Nimba’s remote and less developed districts, Gbi and Dorlu, with others is yet to be completed as the machines rehabilitating the road have been withdrawn to another location.
The rehabilitation was launched on October 26, 2015, by county officials as part of the ongoing rehabilitation of feeder roads across the county. It was expected to take 60 days to complete and afterwards connect over 30 communities at a cost of US$250,000 including all the road rehabilitation work in Nimba
County, Superintendent Fong Zuagele said.
But, within the period of a month, most of the machines were withdrawn to Tappita for the opening of the airstrip, which lasted about two months.
The road work resumed after the completion of the airstrip but the machines were withdrawn in early May, without reaching their target, leaving half of the roads in the district unrehabilitated.
The machines were taken to the nearby district of Yarwin Messonnon, for what many claimed was due to political influence, because the district is the home of Representative Matenokay Tingban and Development Superintendent Dorr Cooper.
Supt. Zuagele told citizens at the launch that the rehabilitation of the road was part of the county’s initiative to rehabilitate all feeder roads in Nimba County.
He also added that the machines will not be removed from the district until all the communities are connected, with Gbi citizens told that the machines left because of the rainy season.
On the popular Facebook page, Nimba Future Generation, some citizens of Gbi and Dorlu have expressed frustration over the road work not reaching the district headquarters in Dorgbor Town.
“It is so sad to receive fresh, confirmed reports that the machines stopped from reaching Dorgbor Town due to the rainy season are now being used in another district,” said Ezekiel Dennis and Marcus Roberts of Gbi and Dorlu.
Dorgbor Town is the biggest town in Gbi and Dorlu; due to the bad road network its administrative activities are carried out in Glann Town, where the Administrative Commissioner resides.
However, the Project Management Committee head in Nimba County, Peterson Walker, said the machines were removed due to the rainy season and are scheduled to return to Gbi in the dry season.
He added that presently all the machines have been brought back from the remote areas to carry out the city’s development, especially the opening of alleys and laying the streets.
Gbi and Dorlu is one of the underdeveloped districts in Nimba Countywith a limited number of schools and clinics. It is densely forested, extending as far as Sinoe and Rivercess counties
There has been speculation that the citizens want to join Rivercess County, since they are marginalized from development activities in Nimba County. Senator Thomas Grupee, in one of his remarks, described the intention as moving “from worst into the water,” blaming lawmakers from Rivercess of orchestrating the situation.