Key Nimba Roads in Deplorable State

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The present condition of the road

Ganta-Sanniquellie, Ganta-Yekepa and Ganta-Tappita roads hazardous

Two days of heavy downpour have left the Ganta–Sanniquellie road in a deplorable state, paralyzing the free movement of goods and services along that route and in other places across Nimba County.

Due to the nearly impassible road conditions, transportation fares from Ganta to Sanniquellie have increased from L$300 to L$500 whether you go by motorbike or by bus. Since last Monday commuters have been appealing for government intervention to remedy the situation fearing the worse might happen where transportation fares could increase further.

At present taxis and other smaller vehicles have stopped using the road. “We are not underestimating the extent of this year’s rainy season and looking at the road condition, I think we will face more difficulties as it happened in 2012 when the road flooded to the extent that vehicles were unable to ply there,” said an elderly woman from Karnplay in Gbehlay Geh District.

Last year the road was in a similar condition, but with the presence of the Senegalese road building firm (CSE) at the time, vehicles were able to move freely throughout the rainy season. The company made some efforts to maintain the road until the dry season. This time, CSE’s current status in the county is uncertain.

Observers believe the rainy season will take the worst turn

A similar condition also occurred last year on the Ganta –Yekepa road which nearly collapsed when the rains became intense, but CSE managed to maintain the road until the dry season. However, shortly after the rainy season, CSE partially withdrew and relocated most of its equipment to other parts of the country, while management sent some of them across the Liberian/Ivoirian border.

When President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf toured Nimba County in February this year, she reaffirmed her government’s commitment to construct the Ganta-Yekepa road before her tenure expires next January. Furthermore in October 2007, the CEO of ArcelorMittal, Lakshmi Mittal, promised to fund the construction of the Ganta–Yekepa highway as a birthday gift to the President during his visit to Liberia.

As President Sirleaf’s regime nears its end, some Nimbaians have expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s failure to pave the Ganta– Sanniquellie and Ganta-Yekepa roads. But the government’s argument has been that the money required for the pavement of the road has not been deposited into its coffers.

There is yet another growing concern across the county related to the hazardous road conditions:  it is that the inaccessible roads are likely to hamper the electoral process. Recently, the Ganta-Tappita road has become perilous,  hampering the free movement of goods and services to the southeastern part of the country from the Nimba side.

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