Travelers Stranded on the Bong-Lofa Road

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Passengers and drivers plying the Gbarnga-Lofa highway are complaining about the deplorable condition of the road, saying it is making life hard for them.

When the Daily Observer visited the road on Tuesday September 6, some of the passengers and drivers complained that the acute shortage of foodstuff on the local markets is due to the terrible shape of the road.

As a result, commercial drivers and motorbike riders have doubled their fares for the Gbarnga to Zorzor trip from L$800 to L$1,600, while from Gbarnga to Voinjama fares have gone up from L$1,800 to L$2,200; a situation which angered several passengers, who spoke with our correspondent.

“Lofa County should have been better improved given its cultural importance in the country in food production, but due to bad roads it is not possible,” a passenger said.

This reporter gathered that the road from Gbarnga to Zorzor is basically cut off and inaccessible to vehicles, because cars leaving from Gbarnga to Lofa County are parked on the other side of the road while cars plying from Lofa to Gbarnga are also clustered on the opposite side. Passengers are constrained to disembark and walk either way across the road through the mud to board vehicles heading to Gbarnga and Lofa County.

Most farmers are unable to transport their produce to markets in big towns like Gbarnga or Monrovia due to the bad road; and as a result, they are losing the money invested in their crops, the farmers complained.

“There are times during the rainy season when some roads are completely cut off holding up any form of travel between the affected communities,” Mr. Abraham Flomo, a commercial taxi driver, said.

A middle-aged woman passenger told the Daily Observer that Liberia is losing a lot of produce to waste because of the poor road network and appealed for intervention from the government and its partners. “Some parts of Liberia’s road network are now in their worst state,” said passenger Joseph Kolleh.

Several drivers and passengers interviewed said in the government’s effort to support economic growth, it should focus on upgrading strategic trunk roads across the country in order to connect major counties and towns to the capital.

As a solution to their predicament, residents of Wainsue and other satellite villages where the road is cut off near David Bryant village (David Kpua) have opened a mini market where all sorts of goods are sold.

A source requesting not to be named said that the government will begin the pavement of the road from Gbarnga to Salayea in Lofa County during the next dry season.

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