Bong County – In Bong County, on a tour of the demonstration site of Feeder Roads and Alternative Maintenance Program (FRAMP), the Mission Director of USAID-Liberia, Dr. Anthony Chan, called for collaboration between the government of Liberia and local authorities as a means of realizing the maintenance of feeder roads in country.
Dr. Chan said USAID appreciates the effort being applied by many Liberians, who are involved with the project, especially the four superintendents of Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Grand Bassa counties.
He commended citizens and the local authority from the four counties for their commitment to the work.
Chan noted that the experimentation is an interesting part of the work adding that it will upgrade the road and figure out what is the most economically effective seal, given the cost and the life of service.
“One of the things I care very much about is that all the parties who are involved make a serious commitment to get results, I am determined, as with everyone at USAID—I insist on that internally. I hope we can expect that from the government, partners and residents of Nimba, Bong and Lofa counties,” he said.
Deputy Public Works Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Jackson J. Paye, said the maintenance of feeder roads remain crucial and cardinal in the revitalization of roads across Liberia.
Minister Paye emphasized that the on-going work in the four counties are meant for experimentation and to investigate which seal is good for feeder roads in Liberia, noting that, given the high volume of rain in Liberia, most of the feeder roads are damaged during the rainy season.
Paye said FRAMP, a USAID-funded project, is carrying out the work to investigate which seal is suitable for Liberia and at a low cost; FRAMP is investigating about six seals in Nimba, Bong, Lofa and Grand Bassa counties.
He said the rural roads maintenance program needs to be proactive adding that adequate funding is needed to speedily jump-start the process.
Paye said, the highway is being upgraded by FRAMP in preparation for the up-coming election, in order to ease the movement of electoral materials in that part of the country.
FRAMP Chief-of-Party, Dr. Frederick M. Were-Higenyi, said, the project is a four-year USAID funded road rehabilitation and maintenance program.
He said the overarching goal is to support the government of Liberia to develop, make operational and implement sustainable routine maintenance systems, while piloting innovative, alternative low volume roads seals (ALVRS) construction technique through research and development.
FRAMP Chief of Party the program implementation period runs from March 2016 through to March 2020.
Dr. Were-Higenyi voiced that FRAMP selected six different types of low-cost seals and is testing them on 200,000 square meters of road surface (about 25km of rural/urban streets) to measure their performance.
Higenyi disclosed that, based on the field test and observation, FRAMP will prepare manuals and specifications for the three best performing seals.
He added that a section of 1.8 km along the Palala-Duta road in Bong County is being used to demonstrate construction of the six seals and to monitor their performance thereafter, stating that FRAMP has established twenty community-based organizations (CBOs) in the four counties, which resulted in the creation of over 150 direct jobs for residents in that part of the country.
Also speaking, David Kien, a member of Kukatornor Development Association, a local CBO contracted by FRAMP to work on the feeder roads in Duta, Bong County, said the project is bringing many more benefits to the residents of the area, noting that the income being generated is impacting those working on the project.
FRAMP-USAID will provide construction and capacity building services on a total of 450km of farm-to-market roads located in Bong, Nimba, Lofa and Grand Bassa counties.
These 450km of roads were designed under a previous USAID activity, and are engineered gravel roads which use the principle of basic access, using the Liberia feeder roads design standards.
Road rehabilitation work will be funded and procured by USAID directly through a separate mechanism outside of FRAMP scope.
FRAMP will provide some technical assistance during procurement, including but not limited to, pre-bid site visits, unit rate analysis and bid evaluation.