Lofa Road Impassable

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Torrential rains have drastically degraded the Lofa County highway leaving dozens of trucks and other vehicles stranded for one week, travellers have told the Daily Observer.

According to reports, several trucks and smaller vehicles are in deep mud about 15 to 25 feet in some areas on the Lofa/Gbarnga highway.

“We spent about five days traveling from Gbarnga City in Bong County to Voinjama City in Lofa due to the bad road,” said truck driver John Baysahwala.

As a result, perishable farm items such as bitter balls, pepper, egg plants, peanuts, and greens intended for Monrovia markets continue to rot.

Some of the affected farmers, who spoke to the Daily Observer via mobile phone, described the situation as discouraging because they are losing their markets.

Peanut farmer Sumo Yallah of Voinjama District said 55 bags that he harvested to take to Monrovia rotted while waiting to be transported.

“I now have money problems and don’t know what I will do to get money to continue farming,” Yallah said.

Another farmer, Domawah Kemah, said out of 24 bags of the vegetables he intended sending to Monrovia, only 10 bags reached because the rest spoiled as a result of the road condition.

With such huge loses, the farmers believe that next year’s production and harvest will certainly drop.

In his reaction to the bad Lofa road condition, pineapple farmer Yallah M. Ballah said the only alternative left to any Liberian government is to begin paving the road.

Ballah added that if such initiative had been accepted by the past and present governments, the pavement of the road would have begun ever since in Mendikormah in Foya Statutory District.

Labour and other financial investments in the production of the farm produce are on many occasions left in the hands of commercial drivers.

Business people and aid agency vehicles that continue to ply on the deplorable road are being faced with expensive mechanical repairs.

In separate interviews with truck and small vehicle commercial drivers in Monrovia recently, they called on the Liberian Government to place priority on the pavement of the Lofa highway.

“Let the current administration leave some works done on our Lofa highway as a mark of a genuine legacy for our poor farmers,” one of the drivers recommended.

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