As a family mourned their deceased relative and vowed to bury him in his Southeastern hometown, the bad road condition, a common experience in Liberia’s hinterland, conspired to make the man’s final journey a most strenuous experience – for the biker, that is.
The family was forced to charter a motorbike as the road to Toe Town in Grand Gedeh, where the deceased was to be buried, is one of the most deplorable in the region and the country and is now impassible by vehicles. Despite this reality, the family decided to fulfill the man’s wishes to be buried in Toe Town at any cost. The Toe Town road links Tappita, Nimba County, and Grand Gedeh.
At the appointed time, the casket bearing the remains of the deceased was loaded onto a motorbike, which struggled dangerously through the mud with its unusual cargo, as family members helped to stabilize it for its 75 kilometer journey from Tappita to Toe Town.
The deceased, whose identity the family would not reveal, had died at the Jackson Fiah Doe Referral Hospital in Tappita after a period of illness, and his family wanted to fulfill his wishes to be buried in his hometown – Toe Town, Grand Gedeh County.
“Because of the bad road condition that makes it impossible for vehicles to ply, we decided to use a motorbike to transport the body,” a family member said.
Residents along the road leading to Toe Town were excited because it was the first time they had ever seen a casket being transported by motorbike. They also expressed disbelief and sorrow for the bereaved family for going through such a demeaning experience.
“This is double grief for this family. They are mourning their loved one and at the same time finding it very hard to get his remains back home,” said a resident in sympathy for the family.
Bad road conditions hamper many activities up country during the rainy season. Nearly all the road networks from Ganta to the southeast have collapsed, putting the price of commodities out of reach for ordinary citizens.
Presently, a girl’s mission school in Gbalatua, Bong County, is yet to open for the 2016/17 academic year, owing to the bad condition of the road linking Gbarnga to Lofa, along wich the school is located.
Some parents whose children attend the school have been told by the Ministry of Gender to find study classes for them until the road is fixed.
Mack Gblinwon, a resident of Ganta and the local head of the Liberia People’s Development Party (LPDP), expressed shock on his Facebook page, calling on the government to intervene to improve the road in question to ease the people’s hardship.