30 June 2014

Liberia: Bad Roads Threaten July 26 Celebrations

Internal Affairs Minister, Morris Dukuly, has disclosed that the bad road conditions between Rivercess, Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties pose major challenge to the July 26 Independence Day celebrations.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf named Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties as hosts for this year's Independence Day celebration, but Minister Dukuly announced that road connectivity between both counties is worrisome and could impede the celebrations.

Speaking to The NewDawn via mobile from Bomi County on Sunday, he said besides the road challenge, many of the projects earmarked for the celebrations are on course with the huge possibilities that all could be concluded before the observance of the historic occasion.

He referred this paper to Public Works Minister, Dr. Antoinette Weeks for more details on road rehabilitation, but as far as he's concerned as head of the 15 counties politically, the road network needs quick attention or else it could create a serious challenge for those who may travel by road to the southeastern counties for the pending celebrations.

Several lawmakers from Southeastern Liberia have predicted impossibility for Sinoe and Grand Kru to co-host the 2014 July 26 Independence Day Celebrations. The lawmakers said the failure of the Public Works Ministry to rehabilitate roads leading to the counties before the rainy season is a major setback for the successful hosting independence activities.

Senators Peter Coleman (Grand Kru), H. Dan Morias (Maryland) and Joseph Nagbe (Sinoe) frowned on what they consider weak system put in place by the Ministry of Public Works to monitor road projects contracted to construction companies. The lawmakers warned Minister Antoinette Weeks to do all she can to ensure that the celebrations of this year's Independence in Sinoe and Grand Kru is successful.

In his frustration, Senator Coleman recommended that the upcoming celebrations be held at the Centennial Pavilion in Monrovia since it seems almost impossible for the completion of roads and other projects ahead of July 26.

During a Town Hall meeting between President Sirleaf and Sinoe residents in the J. Dominic Big City Hall in Greenville on March 18, Sinoe County Superintendent J. Milton Teahjay complained to the President that immobility and lack of transportation for local Public Works engineer in the county could delay ongoing projects for the celebration.

Superintendent Teahjay said the local Public Works engineer, repeatedly borrows his vehicle to go to work, describing it as unhealthy for the engineer's assignment. He said if the matter could not be looked into to have the engineer mobile, then he will have no means of monitoring projects.

On the other hand, Public Works Minister Antoinette Weeks, who is among President Sirleaf's delegates touring the two host counties (Sinoe and Grand Kru) to assess projects for the 2014 July 26 celebrations, failed to successfully speak to concerns regarding challenges observed in some places along the route from Sinoe to Grand Kru.

Minister Weeks angrily walked away from journalists after accusing them of interrupting an interview with her when she tried responding to some questions they had already posed to her.

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