Deputy Public Works Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Christian G. Herbert, has underscored the need for local authorities to formulate a strategy to maintain completed and on-going feeder roads in Bong, Lofa, and Nimba Counties respectively.
The Deputy Public Works boss emphasized the importance to sustain huge investment in the infrastructural sector. He informed the local authorities that it is cheaper to maintain rehabilitated feeder roads. According to him, the cost to rehabilitate one kilometer of feeder road is one thousand United States Dollars and that similar amount could be spent to maintain one feeder road annually.
He also called on local leaders to set up a road maintenance crew as a proactive measure pending the consummation of frantic efforts to inject a line item in the national budget to maintain feeder roads annually following the completion of the project.
Also speaking, the Monitoring Consultant to the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Mr. Ulf Brudefors, buttressed the message earlier conveyed by Deputy Minister Herbert concerning the formulation of a strategy to maintain completed and on - going feeder roads. He also re-emphasized the need for contracting entities to take into serious consideration quality control and standards during the implementation of construction projects.
He also mandated the Project Implementation Team (PIT) to carry out a risk analysis on the road link from Sanniquellie to Vanyapa, implemented by the Afrique Construction Company in Nimba County as quickly as possible owing to a lack of substantial progress on the road.
Mr. Brudefors also supported a call for a proposed meeting between contracting entities and the project implementation team to address numerous challenges in an attempt to ensure the unhindered implementation of various projects.
For his part, the Team Leader of the Liberian Swedish Feeder Roads Project (LSFRP), Mr. Belal Hussain, informed the authorities that capacity building and training of project stakeholders is an integral part of the project. He clarified that the measurement of the width and length of each feeder road was based on a feasibility study during an assessment prior to the commencement of the project. Mr. Hussain added that the measurement used was also intended to create access to several other communities. He threatened to discontinue the services of non-performing contracting entities.
Responding, Superintendents of the three political sub-divisions visited, acknowledged benefits or impacts accrued as a result of interventions made by the Liberian Swedish Feeder Roads Project (LSFRP) under the auspices of the Ministry of Public Works.
The local authorities outlined access to several communities, reduction in travelling time and transportation fares, increased in agricultural production as well as construction activities are visible, measurable, and realistic impacts or benefits accrued as a result of interventions on feeder roads in their respective counties.
While in Bong County, two lawmakers, Senator Henry Yallah and Representative Edward Kafia, who attended the meeting, requested for intervention in two regions, Yandiwon and Tesly in Yellequelleh and Salala Districts of their county considered to be an agricultural belt. The delegation inspected the Totota to Piata , Phebe, Makpohill and Gbansue Sulonma road links. The Totota-Piata and Gbanshue Suloma roads have been fully rehabilitated. The road link from Gbonota to Phebe is still on -going. Constructions materials were visible on some sites visited.
In Lofa County, the delegation inspected the road link from Salayea to Fassawalazu, Voinjama to Bolongolidu to the Guinean Border, Yandimolahun, , Kpakamai, Kpasagizia ,Barkedu and Borkeza. The road link from Voinjama to Bolongolidu to the Guinean border, Kpasagizia, Barkedu, and Yandimolahun have been completed fully completed. Road work is still on -going on the link from Salayea to Fassawalazu and the Voinjama City Streets pavement. Contracting entities have mobilized various communities and construction materials were seen at the various sites. Substantial progress has been made on the road work.
The Superintendent and Resident Engineer of Lofa County, Hon. George Dunor and Mr. Robert Gibson respectively were present during the meeting.
In Nimba County, the delegation inspected the road link from Sanniquellie to Dulay, Vanyapa, Nengbein to Yelekoryee, Suarkarzue to Yargoupa, and Yassonor to Payee in Sanniquellie Mah, Yarpea Mah, and Bain Carr Districts respectively. The delegation was impressed with the road work from Zorgorwee to Dulay, Suakarzue to Yargoupa, and Yassonor to Payee. Substantial progress has been made by Solid Rocks Construction Company and Pacific Construction Company respectively. These two companies are rehabilitating the above mentioned roads.
Two Commissioners namely Madam Shirley Brown and Mr. Fred N. Gaye, Sr., of Bain Carr and Yarpea Mah Districts respectively. Both of whom attended the occasion commended SIDA for its intervention. Specifically for her part, Commissioner Shirley Brown used the occasion to appeal for assistance to tackle two critical hills that are slippery during the wet season on the road from Zuluyee to Yehbo.
Nimba County Development Superintendent, Hon. Teeko T. Yorlay, for his part lauded SIDA for its intervention and requested extension of SIDA's intervention to other critical areas in the county.
Several dignitaries including Acting Assistant Public Works for Rural Development, Hon. Alibaba K. Kpakolo, Planning of LSFRP, Mr. Mrityunjoy Ghosh, Mr. Per Dans, Counsellor at the Swedish Embassy accredited near Monrovia, and Mr. Jallah Kennedy, Infrastructure Focal Point assigned with Swedish Embassy.