By Morrison O.G. Sayon and Garmonyou
Vehicle owners and other citizens residing along the Somalia Drive, Sayon Town and Bardnersville have expressed grave concern over the deplorable road condition in many parts of the city.
Some of the citizens mostly drivers, vehicle owners and business people say the bad road condition is affecting them in many ways and want government to take concrete action in addressing the road condition in the country.
Economically, the citizens said they are unable to carry on their business activities in time as the bad road condition has resulted to traffic jam in many parts of the city thus, impeding their daily movements.
“It now takes us at least two to three hours to get to central Monrovia where all of our daily activities are concentrated; even to go the school you have to wake up by 4:00 A.M. and sometime you get in the traffic and get late due to the deplorable road,” Felecia Taylor a middle-aged businesswoman who is also a resident of Gardnersville told The INQUIRER.
Another lady Cecelia Brown of Bardnersville Estate added, “This place was the stronghold of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf because during the 2005 and 2011 Presidential and General Elections, she won the highest votes in this place but see for yourself how our road looks; getting to town has become a very difficult situation for us. No driver is willing to bring his car here and stay in the traffic for three hours just for L$60 or L$70.00 or just to spoil his vehicle.”
Many drivers who also spoke to this paper said they are spending lots of money on their vehicles as vehicle parts are very expensive. “You bring your car here two to three times; you will definitely spend and get nothing in return because you will have to purchase new parts for your car which will spoil as a result of the bad road condition. If you were buying six gallons of gasoline per day you will increase it to at least ten to twelve daily due to the traffic jam in this Gardnersville area,” Musa Kamara, a taxi driver said in anger.
Those along the Somalia Drive, Sayon Town and Bardnersville (Bend & Stop) areas expressed anger over the road condition as dirty water from the road is said to be entering their homes daily. “We can’t carry on our normal business activities here again because of the road condition. Nobody is concerned about fixing the road but are using their big, big jeeps and don’t care about the road, even those we elected have failed to do anything about the road,” Mr. James Toh another resident of Bardnersville said.
The road condition has become issue of concern in recent times especially since Government stopped the Motorbikes from plying the main streets of Monrovia and other areas. Gov’t has fewer vehicles to transport the citizens to and fro couple with the deplorable road condition in these major routs causes serious traffic jam daily thus making employees and business people late to get to the only main city of Monrovia to turn to their daily activities.
Statistics shows that 90 percent of businesses or schoolings are done in central Monrovia meaning that almost everything is concentrated in central Monrovia. But the road condition has become an issue especially when the Liberian Government has earlier promised that construction work should have begun on the Freeport/Redlight Road in last October. October has passed and November is now ending without any sign of construction or rehabilitation work being done on the road.
So, many are wondering as to whether the construction and or rehabilitation work on the Somalia Drive will even be done this year as only one more month remains for 2013 to end.
A team of INQUIRER reporters who visited several areas in Monrovia to see the road condition observed that some of the most affected roads include, the Somalia Drive mainly Battery Factory, Iron Factory, New Georgia Junction, and the Bardnersville Road which is highly hit in the rainy season.
Some of the areas are impassable as vehicles spend several minutes or sometimes hours to get out of those areas. This has resulted to huge traffic jam around the Battery Factory, New Georgia Junction, Iron Factory and Sayon Town to Logan Town Cinema Road.
At the same time, the highly anticipated rehabilitation of the Somalia Drive road that would be financed by the Government of Japan has not been given a date to begin according to sources from the Ministry of Public Works (MPW).
According to a source from the MPW the government is currently undergoing a resettlement action plan for businesses, private homes and institutions that have built their properties on the road. Those who have built on the road and have valid deeds and documents would be compensated while others are being urged to relocate before the exercise commences.
In related news, with many roads throughout Liberia that are in deplorable states our source has stated that the Government of Liberia has no plans of rehabilitating these roads.
However the Government of Liberia has hired the construction services of CHICO and CICO, two Chinese owned companies to rehabilitate the Redlight to Gbarnga Highway and the Gbarnga to Ganta to Guinea border Roads to ease the transportation that many Liberians endure to transport goods and services on the road.