In a bid to boost agriculture productivity, create jobs and increase access to farm to market, the Government of Liberia in a cost-sharing agreement with the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) will commence the pavement of 6.85 kilometers of city streets in Voinjama.
Making the disclosure on Tuesday December 18, 2012 at the Ministry of Public Works, Minister Kofi Woods said as part of the occasion, Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai is expected on Saturday December 22, 2012 to lead an array of officials from the government including members of the House and Senate as well as local and foreign dignitaries to Voinjama, Lofa County to perform the historic ground-breaking ceremony of the project.
The Public Work Minister indicated that the decision and the reality of paving the streets of Voinjama is unprecedented and momentous as it marks the first time in recent history specifically under this administration that city streets in Liberia outside of Monrovia are being paved.
"This represents a major component of our infrastructure strategy to expand on our urban renewal programs outside of Monrovia and address the plight of urban dwellers who suffer the environmental impact and other difficulties of unpaved city streets while still maintaining continuing focus on rehabilitating and maintaining primary, secondary and feeder roads in our country", the Minister maintained.
These city streets, according to Minister Woods the 152.65 kilometer project will be constructed by contractors from road construction companies to include China Liberia, 21st Century and Westwood.
He pointed out that though the anticipated goals of the feeder road project are being achieved gradually, these roads are contributing to the socio-economic situation in Lofa County- the country's bread basket, by spurring commercial activities manifested by marked increase in the volume of agriculture produce; rise in the frequency of weekly markets and noticeable increase in access to basic services.
The public Works boss indicated that due to these interventions, it is expected that several benefits will be accrued. "They include significant reduction in travel time, cost of transportation and increase access to road users".
He pointed out that besides the myriad of benefits aforementioned, the project also fulfils government policy on capacity building for Liberian engineers as well as producing opportunities for increased employment of young women and men including learning opportunities for new artisan skills required in the road construction and maintenance sector.
The Public Works Minister added that the jointly financed project is under a cost-sharing agreement in which the SIDA will provide US$2,179,043.00 to pave 2.56km while the Liberian Government will provide US3,256,279 to pave4.3km of Voinjama city streets. The entire pavement project will cost a total of US$5,435,323 considering reinforcement of concrete slabs with common joints and concrete drains.