By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)
One of the things I learned while studying the various stages to economic development is the issue of road development. It is said that better and passable roads help to accelerate and stimulate development as they would provide avenues for free movement of people and vehicles. The simplest example of this is that for instance, if someone bought a land and wants to develop that land, such a person depends on a passable road to be able to transport materials to that particular area. Likewise for a government to engage in national projects, it needs roads, not the deplorable or impassable roads that we have today, to engage in such a project.
Agriculturally, had we concentrated on this, this country, blessed with fertile soil, could have achieved much in agricultural development, to an extent that by now would feed itself. One of the problems those involved in agricultural activities is the lack of better and passable roads to facilitate them to get their produce on the market, lest to talk about feeder roads.
Additionally, better roads provide means to undertake projects whether as an individual or government, especially in its national programs to bring about growth and development. Perhaps, if this country had concentrated on this initially, it would have been considered among some of the well developed nations of the world and not as an under-developed country. Shamefully and disappointingly, today, after more than 160 years, we are still speaking about some parts of the country not still connected by roads, as citizens have to walk for hours to get to their various destinations.
Yes, this is also retarding progress. But thank God now that we, as a people and government have seen the need for better road construction to move this country from backwaters to prosperity. Few years ago, the people on the SKD Boulevard, lived in misery because of the bad road condition which created health hazard for them because of the dust.
Incontestably, as a result of paved roads, this has now reduced the health problem they were faced with and at the same time have been able to recondition their homes that were always affected by dust during the dry season. It means that as a result of the roads, that area has now developed from as dusty terrain to a non-dusty terrain, thereby attracting more residents, with value added, unlike when it was feared because of the dust.
Today, I try to bring to the fore the importance of better and passable roads for development. I was inspired and impressed to do this piece because of what I saw recently from the Red Light to Gbarnga and also from the Stockton Creek Bridge to the Caldwell Road. Although the two events I attended separately were not for sight-seeing, notwithstanding, I still took interest in observing those areas as I drove through. As for the Red-Light-Gbarnga Road, it is still being constructed. But for the stretch in Caldwell, it has been completed and the bridge, according to the Ministry of Public Works would be completed in few months.All in all, my focus is on Caldwell. As I was driving through last Saturday to attend the funeral of the brother of our cashier, Mrs .Margaret Weagbe, I was so overwhelmed about the structures I saw being constructed in the front view of that area. Previously, many of the structures in the front view were not of such well-architecturally designed, as I saw last Saturday. As I drove in disbelief of the time of construction, I got to realize that this is the result of better roads. This means that the previous deplorable condition did not provide avenue for such better structures as they are today in Caldwell.
Besides the issue of structures, another thing I observed was the fleet of motorbikes. I do not know of any area that has such huge amount of motorbikes than Caldwell. This, I believe, is also due to the better condition of the road which has attracted many persons, thus creating the need for more motorcycles to cope with the transportation needs of the residents. More importantly and unarguably, the road is a major contributing factor, for the huge fleet or motorbikes as it provides smooth ride and less time to commute.
As we make use of these paved and better roads, we should not forget about the zoning laws. Today, on the Tubman Boulevard, and other areas in the city, there are many beautiful structures, but many lack parking places, and some seem environmentally unfriendly. This is something that the authorities concerned must take note of. As the road from the Red Light to Gbarnga progresses, it is common sense to know that very soon there would be construction of motels, hotels, entertainment centers, as well as guest houses on the stretch of that road for travelers. This means that authorities should ensure that the zoning laws are adhered to.
Once again, we must realize that better, paved and passable roads are necessary for growth and development, whether for a business, for individuals, or for the nation. Today the people of Caldwell can proudly beat their chests for the kind of fast-growing beautiful structures in that vicinity that are giving it a facelift, from the previously many makeshifts in the front view. Indeed, better, paved and passable roads engender development.
As I conclude this non-controversial piece, there is fear today that the planned July 26 Independence Day Celebration in Sinoe may become a fiasco, if efforts are not made to recondition the roads. So you see how important better roads are, as they provide avenue for the transportation of materials for development. And so in the case of Sinoe, if nothing is done on this matter, shame and disgrace will definitely befall on that county. THIS IS HOW IMPORTANT ROADS ARE.
Perceivably, on the issue of Caldwell, I can say that if what I saw in Caldwell continues that area would soon become a modern city in Liberia.