Liberia: One Dead, Bridges Washed Off, Several Displaced by Flood in Grand Kru
Monrovia – At least one person has been pronounced dead by drowning in flood in Barclayville, Grand Kru County.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
The county especially, Barclayville according to a situation report, is experiencing extreme flooding – displacing hundreds of residents this rainy season.
Grand Kru County is one of the most impoverished counties in the country with a population of about 57,106, according to the 2008 population census.
Communities affected by the flood include Fleneken, Felorken, Topoh, Juduken and the stretch of road between Newaken and Gblebo and Barclayville where the death of the 39-year-old man occurred.
Women and children are reported to be most affected. Many of the displaced have been taken in residents of surrounding towns, yet many more have been left wandering for shelter, food and even clothing.
The county authorities have, through a formal communication, sought the intervention of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the legislative caucus.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs is yet to make a public statement on the situation in the county.
Speaking to FrontPageAfrica on the situation in his county, Representative J. Fonati Koffa who represents District #2 in the county lamented that the flood situation in his county has made it impossible for him to go home.
To help provide shelter and assistance for the affected people of the county, Rep. Koffa said he has taken the initiative to assist displaced persons who have been affected by the severe flooding.
“Unfortunately, I have postponed my trip to the county. I can’t go home. Most of the major roads and wooden bridges have been washed out. The people of District 2 Grand Kru County are in dire straits, deplorable roads followed by severe flooding. Anyone wishing to contribute can send mobile money to our acting district coordinator, Sunday Togbabou, 0886329800. Your contribution will be acknowledged,” he appealed.
He disclosed that he has started the fund with L$25,000 and wish other well-meaning Liberians would follow.
According to Koffa, Grand Kru, which is believed to have been neglected over the years, is in dire need of the Southeastern roads promised by President George Weah.
Residents of Grand Kru have often complained of neglect by their political leaders.
“Our lawmakers, since we elected them into power, sometimes come and pass on. When they pass by Buah, they don’t even stop, they drive on to Barclayville with their dark car glass up, and they don’t bother to even stop to see which of the conditions we are facing here. I want to see change to come because the first people that we elected here and put into power, they don’t seek our interest. This is why we are in the political season now and we are looking among the candidates that are coming so we can make the right decision to elect people that will make our dream to come to past,” a resident told FrontPageAfrica during the 2017 elections campaign.
Despite boasting a former President Pro-Tempore of the Senate and well-connected senators, representatives and officials in government, the area, by far remains one of the only counties in Liberia without a single paved road.
But the county still has big profiles in government. President of the Republic and the Pro-Tempore of the Senate both hail from Grand Kru.
Southeastern Liberia now has the country’s three most powerful political figures. Dr. Bhofal Chambers, Speaker of the House has represented Pleebo Sodeken District of Maryland County since 2005.
A FrontPage Africa report in August 2017 focusing on one of the oldest districts in the country in Grand Kru County showed how the area has been abandoned by national government, prompting residents to call it a “country on its own,” that is in dire straits, forgotten by their lawmakers, the government and humanity.
In many rural Southeastern towns pregnant women and others seeking medical care have to trek for hours to the clinic, sometimes they ride in canoe and cross rivers to have access to medical services.
Nothing has really changed since then and residents in the region believe that if development is not geared towards the Southeastern region by this government, the region would never develop.
Bad roads, lack of health facilities, dilapidated school facilities and lack of instructors at schools are some of the challenges the Grand Kru and other counties in the region have faced over the years.
The region is on record for voting overwhelmingly for President Weah during the election.