Saclepea Cut off

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Torrential weekend rains, which swept across Nimba County, have left Saclepea City in the heart of the county, cut-off from the rest of the country.
Up to yesterday morning, fleet of vehicles, including those with transshipment goods destined for the Southeastern part of the country, were unable to make their way across the Weih River just across the city limit. While vehicles were prevented from moving in that direction owing to high current from the overflowing water that swept across the main road linking Lower Nimba, with Grand Gedeh County via Tappita, commuters and motorbikes were transported on makeshift rafts steered by at least six to nine able-bodied men.
Each of the commuters or a motorbike paid between L$300 to L$600 to be transported by raft to the other end before continuing the journey unto the next connecting van that transports stranded passengers to the nearest parking station.
Similar situation also occurred on Ganta-Saclepea Highway when the Leehi River overflowed its banks near Karnwea Town, thus preventing the free movement of goods and services.
The two prevailing situations have exacerbated the already bad road network in the county to the extent that transportation fares have increased.
Saclepea, a city of more than 12,000 citizens (2008 census report) is predominantly inhabited by the Mah people. The city now hosts one of Liberia’s regional offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and also a camp for refugees from the neighboring Côte d’Ivoire, which is situated on the outskirts of town.
Meanwhile, City Mayor Marie D. Sonkarlay, has appealed to the county authority and the national government to prevail on engineers from the Ministry of Public Works to swiftly intervene to bring the flood situation under control.
Saclepea’s retail economy is driven by its weekly market, the largest outdoor market in the county, if not in the country, according to marketers. Every Tuesday, people from all over Nimba and the surrounding counties pour into Saclepea to buy and sell in the market.
The city’s economy was destroyed by Liberia’s civil war, but has been revived by the Local Economic Development (LED), moving Saclepea from post-war relief to rehabilitation and development.

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