Some of the yellow machines

The 22 pieces of road building equipment purchased by Nimba County authorities to rehabilitate feeder roads across the county are grounded as a result of ‘mechanical faults.’

Nearly all the machines are being parked at the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation Compound, located in the eastern suburb of Ganta that once housed the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) peacekeepers assigned with the Bangladeshi Engineer Battalion.

The Daily Observer gathered that one of the caterpillars broke down in Glayeezorpea, the home of the county’s Superintendent, David Dorr Cooper, because of the regular “no fuel syndrome” that has characterized reconditioning of the roads.

Some of the equipment are said to be in very dilapidated condition or what could be described as beyond repair.

Two of the dump trucks and four of the caterpillars are said to have been down now for almost a year, with problems that are classified by the Project Management Committee as ‘major.’

Due primarily to the breakdown of the equipment, all road rehabilitation work and pavement of two of Ganta’s leading streets are now at a standstill, with no sign of resuming anytime soon.

As a result of the prevailing situation, there are reports of mounting concern among the residents whether there will be any fund to continue the works before the October elections.

In 2009 and 2010, under the administration of Superintendent Edith Gongloe Weh, the county used US$4.8 million to procure 22 pieces of yellow machines. The money was part of the county’s social development fund provided by Arcelor Mittal Liberia. The machines were dedicated in 2012 for use in the rehabilitation of the feeder roads.

The machines were presented brand new to the county leadership by UNOPs, but contrary to the expectations of many, the machines are now outdated, less than six years after they were commissioned.

When contacted, Supt. Cooper referred the Daily Observer to his assistant for development and the Project Management Committee (PMC) chairman. All efforts including phone calls and emails to get these officials to speak on the issue went unanswered up to press time last night.

However, an unnamed source said the PMC is out of money to continue any project in the county.

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