The Government of Liberia (GoL) has officially announced the pavement of 6.85 km of streets in Voinjama City, Lofa County. Making the disclosure to reporters on Tuesday, December 18, Public Works Minister Samuel Kofi Woods said the project is the first of its kind under the Unity Party-led government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
He pointed out that the pavement of the streets in Lofa County represents a major component of government's infrastructure strategy to expand its urban renewal programs outside Monrovia. He said Vice President Joseph N. Boakai would perform the 'historic ground breaking' of the project on Saturday, December 22, 2012.
Minister Woods stated that the project is also aimed at addressing the plight of urban dwellers who suffered environmental and other difficulties of unpaved, and laterite city streets. He disclosed that the project would be implemented under the Liberia-Swedish Feeder Road Project (LSFRP).
He recalled that the governments of Liberia and Sweden signed a cooperation agreement in 2009 for the rehabilitation and maintenance of feeder roads and other types of road infrastructure in what he called "bread basket" counties in Liberia.
Since the signing of the agreement, Minister Woods stated that the government of Sweden has invested over US$32M in the LSFRP. According to him, the agreement is geared towards boosting agriculture productivity, creation of rural jobs and increase access to farms and markets, amongst others.
Minister Woods said the road project agreement signed between the two countries would benefit over one million people in Lofa, Bong, and Nimba counties. He disclosed that the pavement of the city streets in Voinjama is being jointly sponsored by the two governments. Minister Woods noted that the project would last for three (3) years and it is value over US$5M.
"I invite you here today and in true allegiance of our tradition, to inform you of important upcoming events and activities in the infrastructure sector which are expected to impact on our mandate to improve our road infrastructure and enrich the livelihood of our people. On Saturday, December 22, 2012 Vice President Joseph N. Boakai will lead an array of officials from the government including members of the House of Senate as well as local and foreign dignitaries to Voinjama, Lofa County to perform the historic ground-breaking ceremony for the pavement of 6.85kms of streets in Voinjama City," he stated.
The government official continued: "The decision, and now the reality of paving the streets of Voinjama city is unprecedented and momentous as it marks the first time in recent history specifically under this administration, that streets and cities outside Monrovia are being paved. The Voinjama city streets project is being jointly financed by the Governments of Liberia and Sweden under a cost-sharing arrangement in which SIDA will provide funding of US$2,179,043.00 to pave 2.56 km while the government of Liberia will provide US$3,256,279.00 to pave 4.30km of the city streets.
He said: "The pavement project will cost a total of US$5,435,325.00 and composed of reinforced concrete slabs with expansion joints and concrete drains. The duration of the project is estimated to be completed within a three-year period."
However, he pledged government's commitment and willingness to the infrastructural development of the country.
The Works Minister indicated that the government will continue to construct quality roads in order to address some of the problems that confront its citizens.
He stated that government's commitment is intended to stimulate economy growth and development.
He then urged Liberians to develop what he called "commitment of ownership" and work with government in carrying out its development agenda.