Liberia: Bad Roads Cause Economic Decline in Southeast

Deplorable road conditions are a major challenge for travelers in Southeastern Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Maryland, Sinoe and Grand Kru counties.

The situation continues to cause an inflation in the prices of basic commodities, including transportation fare, rice, petroleum products, etc.

The situation is getting worse daily, due primarily to the rainy season that has made some portion of the roads impassable.

In a Daily Observer interview, some commuters spoke of the deplorable road condition of the routes along the Tappita-Zwedru highway and the Zwedru-Harper corridor, with many businesspeople saying that the situation has economically imposed hardship on them, causing a sharp decline of basic commodities on the market.

In Zwedru, for example, a gallon of gasoline is now sold at L$1,000, which is the same with a gallon of diesel fuel, while a 25kg bag of rice is being sold at $5,000.

Regarding travels, the transport fare from Zwedru to Ganta, in Nimba County, is mostly negotiated between L$7-8,000; Zwedru-Greenville, Sinoe County, would cost L$6,000 and Zwedru-Fish Town in River Gee County is L$4,700.

In the midst of all this, motorbikes remain the most convenient means of transportation in the region, thus making life unbearable and to the extend that some businesspeople have suspended all business activities until the dry season.

To cope with such a situation, Grand Gedeh County authorities have pleaded with travelers, most importantly businesspeople, to remain patient, "because the government will soon address the impasse."

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