22 February 2017

Liberia: Local NGO Announces Project to Connect Southeastern Counties

Monrovia — A local construction group, Bridge Rural Communities for Trade (BRCT), has announced a US$500,000 phase one road project to connect five southeastern counties.

The counties are Grand Gedeh, Sinoe, River Gee, Grand Kru and Maryland. BRCT is a non-profit organization with both local and international support.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of BRCT, Mr. Gbenimah B. Slopadoe, told journalists in Sinkor that BRCT would deal with the "very difficult and impassible" road conditions of the southeast which are the causes of the shortage of basic commodities and social services that occur in the region from May thru November each year. Mr. Slopadoe is a former representative of Grand Kru in the 52nd Legislature. He is not an aspirant in the October elections.

"I am pleased to launch the Bridge Rural Communities for Trade in the Global Community as a strategic platform and champion the cause to pave Liberia's inter-county highways to enhance mobility and improve the living conditions of the citizens including transportation, trade, income, health and education," Mr. Slopadoe said.

He revealed that as a result of the difficult road conditions in that part of the country, a gallon of gasoline which was previously sold at L$350 is now sold at L$1,000, and commercial drivers, due to the high cost of gasoline, have resolved not to travel to the southeast. Additionally, a 25kg bag of rice which was sold at L$1,900 is now L$3,500.

According to BRCT CEO, the project to connect the five southeastern counties and deal with the "very difficult and impassible" road conditions of the southeast will repair and maintain laterite roads, build bridges and insert culverts to connect the southeastern counties with the rest of the country.

"The impassable sections of the roads are caused by mud, a man-made problem, and therefore it can be prevented," he said.

He said phase one is a two-year short term activity, and that a multilateral taskforce would be established to lead a private and public endeavor to prevent roads in the counties from becoming impassable during the rainy season.

The phase is carried out under the slogan, "Keep Liberia's Inter-county Roads Open during the Rainy Season 2017 to 2018."

"Phase 2 is a ten-year long term activity dubbed "Pave Liberia's Inter-County Roads," he said.

He indicated that the multilateral taskforce would comprise local government, government institutions, corporate entities, donors, partners and the fundraising.

The taskforce will be responsible to mobilize, manage and execute resources required in the short and long term implementation of the project.

"The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) will receive the funds and logistics and implement the projects, and the General Auditing Commission (GAC) will provide fiscal and administrative guidance," he noted.

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