An aspiring representative for the Nimba County Electoral District #6 seat in Tappita Satutory District said his attention is focused on the ongoing street rehabilitation and expansion exercise in the county.
Josephus M. Paye, said since the project started early this year in Karnplay City, Gbelay-Geh District, and later extended to Bahn City in Zoe-geh District, private properties, some erected before the former towns were granted city status, have been demolished.
Paye said that, sadly, these homes and properties were bulldozed without a mitigation plan in place and as a result school buildings, churches and other public facilities are now housing “bulldozer” victims, most of them the elderly, women and children.
Josephus Paye made the statement on Monday at the offices of the Daily Observer newspaper located at ELWA Junction.
The project is being implemented by Nimba County authorities under the Project Management Committee (PMC) with finance from the County Social Development Fund.
The Assistant Superintendent for Development, David Dorr Cooper, said that at the end of the project, there will be social and economic benefits that will include well laid out streets, especially in areas with potential for public utilities such as rural electrification, pipe-borne water, sewage, and telecommunication facilities.
“While we welcome these steps which are pivotal to the growth and modernization of these cities, it must be equally noted and understood that the very beneficiaries cannot be made homeless and remain displaced without any form of minimum resettlement intervention by the county leadership to help the victims rebuild their shattered lives.
“We do understand the financial constraints faced by the government, least to say Nimba County administration. Therefore a full compensation package under these circumstances is inconceivable.
“Notwithstanding, something must be done to reflect the government’s civic obligation to its citizens,” Mr. Paye declared.
“In our collective efforts to keep the county united, peaceful and stable, I wish to recommend that the administration under superintendent Fong Zuagele and his able lieutenants, in consultation with the County Legislative Caucus, identify and set aside portions of existing public lands within the three affected cities to be properly laid out for those victimized by the current street expansion exercise to resettle on them.”
He further suggested that the county make appropriations in its 2016/2017 fiscal budget with source from the ArcelorMittal Social Development Fund of at least 40 percent or the amount of US$600,000 to be proportionately distributed among the residents affected in the three cities.