Residents of the remote Buuyao District in Nimba County near the Liberian/Ivoirian border have appealed to the Ministry of Public Works to help ease their transportation woes and to at least give the district a sense of dignity before the rainy season starts.
During a tour of the district over the weekend, the Daily Observer interviewed many of the locals, who complained that their district has been abandoned and left to suffer from the poor condition of the road network.
“I am sure you came by a motorbike and you experienced what we have been going through for many years,” a local chief, Wormein Dahn, told the Daily Observer reporter. “It was not a good experience,” he said, hoping for government intervention.
Chief Dahn said the poor condition of the road has made it extremely difficult for the district to engage in projects that enhance the lives of its residents.
“We worry about the poor road condition,” a female marketer said, adding, “There are many large potholes filled with mud water. Traveling on a bike from one town to the main road means you need to stop somewhere to clean yourself, which means changing your clothes as soon you enter the big city.”
She said while the ongoing opening of some portions of the farm-to-market roads in the district showed the county administration’s interest in making life easier for residents, “the government should know that roads that connect the district with other nearby districts have remained equally deplorable.”
“The danger is that whenever any resident here is sick, we don’t have the means to rush them to hospital, because vehicles are not available here,” a male shop keeper said in Zruzenplay Town, midway to Buutuo Town near the Liberian/Ivoirian border.
Another resident told the Daily Observer, “I am losing faith in those who have the duty to represent our district, but would not do what is necessary in this situation.”
The resident, a female student, said she could not understand why the Ministry of Public Works or the county authority didn’t consider it as urgent to get the road rehabilitated, especially during the dry season.
She wondered the value of voting people into office when it makes no difference in their suffering.
The Buuyao Electoral District #5 is represented at the National Legislature by Samuel G. Korgar, whose office told the Daily Observer that he is aware of the prevailing situation and promised a practicable solution to rehabilitate the roads.
“Reconstruction of road networks in the district has always been a priority of Rep. Korga, who believes that the people he represents at the House deserve better,” his office said. His office could, however, not explain Korga’s lack of contact with the community to know the plights of the residents. But Dee K. Wehye, his political officer, said there are plans to also rehabilitate the feeder roads, particularly the Buutuo/Bahn route.
According to Mr. Wehye, this will depend on the completion of the ongoing feeder road projects before the rainy season sets in.
“We scheduled the work in such a way that when the earth-moving machines are finished with the feeder roads, we would direct our attention to the repair of the feeder roads, firstly; then the road that connects Bahn, Zoe-Geh political city with Buutuo, which is germane to government’s revenue generation owing to its proximity with neighboring La Cote d’Ivoire,” Mr. Wehye explained.
Several residents interviewed in the district expressed disappointment over the deplorable condition of the roads, especially the Bahn/Buutuo route. They appealed to the Ministry of Public Works and Rep. Korga to rush to their rescue before the rainy season intensifies.
Buu-Yao District is one of the 17 districts of Nimba County. The population was 40,007 as of 2008 National Population and Housing Census.