Johnsonville New Town Needs Bridge

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Residents of Johnsonville New Town have appealed for assistance for the rehabilitation of a bridge to insure their effective commute to and out of the town.

The residents numbering of about 15,000 are mostly involved in vegetable farming.

In an interview with some of the town’s residents recently, they said the condition of the bridge makes life hard, especially during the rainy season.

They said some kind of substandard work was done on the bridge in 2012, and therefore could not withstand subsequent flooding over the years and had since broken down.

According to some of the residents, they are always stranded during the rainy season and are unable to cross it for two to three days.

“Very sick people and pregnant women are on most occasions carried on motorbikes and in wheelbarrows to the Mount Barclay Clinic, which most of the time is out of drugs,” a resident said.

As a result, many said most of the vegetables harvested go bad, which contributes to low production.

Motorbike commercial riders stop at the damaged bridge fearing falling into the creek, and residents have to cross over on foot.

They told this newspaper that due to the difficulty in getting to the town, development support partners and non-governmental organizations have shunned the community.

Acting town spokesman Jerry S. Stewart said the government school at the Mount Barclay Community is overcrowded.

Mr. Stewart explained that the second grade class alone has 110 pupils and some of them are far older for the class.

“Besides, there are no voter registration centers established by the National Elections Commission (NEC) at Johnsonville New Town,” Mr. Stewart noted.

He said the residents are fetching safe drinking water from unreliable sources, and therefore, want the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation and other partners to come to their assistance.

With a staggering population of 15,000 crowded in 35 houses, there is only one reliable safe drinking water source and residents get up around 3:30a.m. to fetch water.

Professional nurse Eva L. Dorwon, 52, said the Johnsonville New Town community does not have a clinic to the extent that some very sick children and pregnant women endure so much hardship riding the motorbikes and wheelbarrows that transport them to the nearby clinic.

She also appealed to presidential and representative aspirants and humanitarian entities to come to their aid by helping to rebuild the broken bridge as well as ensuring new sources of safe drinking water.

“We will ever remain grateful and appreciative of anyone who will help us rebuild our damaged bridge so that we can have easy access to urban markets of Paynesville and Monrovia,” community chairman Emmanuel S. Gono said.

For his part, the development chairperson, Roland Teah, pointed out that the new community has lots of potential in agriculture and infrastructural development.

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