Acting Public Works Minister Victor Smith says the Ministry will do all it can to ensure that President Sirleaf and her entourage will drive to Belle Yella during and beyond the July 26, 2013 celebration which will be hosted by the three sisterly counties of Bomi, Cape Mount and Gbarpolu; where the road in question is situated.
Speaking to reporters during a monitoring and supervision visit to the project site, Minister Smith lauded the contractor, monitoring consultant and MPW assisting crew for the serious efforts that being made to remove the huge pile of debris on Goma Hill following four separate dynamite blasts that has considerably reduced the steepness of the hill and in order to further ensure safety and comfort for vehicle and passengers who would be using the road when completed.
The Acting Public Works boss who was accompanied by a high-powered delegation comprising Public Works officials, technicians as well as representatives of the monitoring consultant and the contractor, acknowledged that aside Goma hill, there remains minor works here and there, but was quick to add that these are not significant enough to stop vehicles and motorcycles from driving from Bopolu all the way into Belle Yella Town now that the challenging Tuma River Bridge is finally completed. Said Minister Smith, “With the Tuma River Bridge completed, vehicles and motorcycles of all kinds can finally move into the town without any difficulty.”
Following inspection of on-going work at Goma Hill, Minister Smith and delegation headed for Belle Yella Town, while inspecting all on-going work on the road including final culvert installation, re-clearing of areas previously cleared, grubbing and laterite haulage to parts of the road lacking quality aggregates. Also seen and interacted with were teams of mechanics manning four equipment sites where machines of all types including excavators, front end loaders, motor graders, compactors and many more are stationed. The sites are Bopolu City, Manaquelleh, Gumgbeh Town and Gbarnga Gboekeh Town. Similarly, the Minister and team were able to motivate the more than 300 workers on the road and encouraged them to do everything possible in beating time so that at least 85% substantial level of work can be completed before the July 26, 2013; which is few weeks from now.
Upon entry into Belle Yella Town, Minister Smith and delegation were overtaken by surprise when they saw the town square lined up with men, women and children dancing and singing both traditional and Christian songs with some joyously blurring the Christian song “The Lord has done it again”.
As for Oldma Mama Tarnue, this is indeed a dream come through as her forefathers thought of the day a vehicle could drive into Belle Yella town but sadly enough, they did not live to see what happened on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 when vehicles entered the once notorious prison enclave where successive Liberian regimes incarcerated political opponents, civil rights activists and all other perceived enemies.
“I cannot tell about the complete history of Belle Yella but road business is something that our great, great grand fathers suffered for and some of us are old now but alive to see this big development,”…..she noted.”
In furtherance she said, “ I don’t know what to say but just to say thank you Ma Ellen, Kofi Woods and all of your that come here today…God will certainly bless you people for bringing road to our town and county”.
Interestingly, while decommissioning the ferry which since 2010 had been the only crossing lifeline for Belle Yella residents, the operator of the ferry David Sumo said “The Bridge has stopped my daily bread but I am happy because at least development has come to county and district”.
It is important to stress that the ferry was the only mode of transport used to cross people, motorcycles and essential goods to and fro Belle Yella. According to David Sumo, he used to charge between $ 150.00 -$200.00 Liberian dollars per load and used proceed to not only feed his family but send his children to school.
With the Tuma River Bridge now history, all concentration is now upon the Goma Hill and current activities on site give a clear signal that the Ministry and her partners will definitely overcome this last hurdle thus bringing to a successful close, a road which since its inception have become a dominant sticky issue in Gbarpolu and Liberian politics.