‘Neglected’ – Poor Health, Bad Roads Trouble Gbarpolu Inhabitants

Gbarpolu County – Poor health condition is creating serious problem for citizens in some towns and villages of Gbarpolu County, as the rural dwellers have to travel long distances to seek medical attention at the only health center located in the capital Bopolu.

Many at times, people reportedly die while enroute to the seek medical attention in Bopolu or sometimes in Henry Town, a mining region which also has a single clinic.

Scores of villagers far from the capital and the Henry Town belt prefer using traditional herbs as treatment for those with ailing conditions while others with complicated problems die..

In Varsala Town, District Number One and three hours walk from the capital, a female, Nankpeh Johnson, complained that taking patients to Bopolu for treatment has been a serious challenge because vehicles rarely travel that route.

Madam Johnson, a farmer, explained to FrontPageAfrica that patients are usually carried on the back of humans to Bopolu for treatment while others die along the way due to delay in reaching them on time.

“Varsala, when we be there and get sick, we can go to Bopolu but it’s too hard for us because from here to Bopolu is far and nobody can sell medicine in this town. “

“We don’t have pump here also. We can go all the way at the creek for drinking water and to get water there is also hard—only that rain fall here this few days,”  Madam Johnson said in her local tone.

According to her, dwellers of the town go far into the forest to fetch drinking water, something she considers disheartening.

“Water business can give us hard time here and sometimes it can’t be clean” Nankpeh Johnson explained, stating that most children come down with diarrehea and other water borne diseases due to the water condition in the area.

Another resident of Varsala Town, Oldman Alfred Mulubah Jones complained that opportunities are hardly given them in engaging relevant stakeholders on the matter, saying “for you to leave from here to go to Bopolu is hard for us because no money and even if you try and go there, they can’t give you chance to meet with the Superintendent or representative.”

Oldman Jones said people in the town are often ill with Malaria and diarrehea. Seeking treatment can be difficult, he added, saying he is currently experiences pain in his legs and can’t seek treatment due to the long distance it takes to cover in a bid to reach the city.

“It is very hard to get to Bopolu or Henry Town because from Varsala to Bopolu is three hours. From Tapeh Town to Bopolu is four hours, from Gainkpah to Henry Town is two hours and from Boulous Town to Bopolu is five hours,” Oldman Jones lamented.

According to the residents, the construction of a health center will curtail the high death rate in surrounding towns and villages in Bopolu District as well as easing the burden faced by residents in seeking medical attention, calling on government to address their situation.

Bad Road Network

Bad road network is seriously hampering the people of Gbarpolu County, thus impeding normal movement of commuters and vehicles from going to most towns and villages.

Vehicles travelling to other towns and villages had to park along the way while commuters made their ways to various destinations by foot due to the inaccessibility of roads to welcome cars passing through.

Various bridges along the roads in some towns like Small Bong County, Gainkpah and Boulous Towns among others have turned unsafe for passage.

In one instance, a lawmaker from Gbarpolu, Representative Alfred Koiwood, had to join some commuters along the way to Gainkpah in reconditioning one of the deplorable bridges along the way as a means of getting to his destination.

Citizens of Gbarpolu County also informed FrontPageAfrica that the need for good road network in the county cannot be overemphasized, calling on the administration of the county to address the situation.

The citizens expressed as regretful, their inability to take various farm products to market due to poor road network which is difficult for vehicles plying farm to market road.

According to them, the reconditioning of bridges is cardinal to road connectivity in Gbarpolu and will at the same time beef up agriculture growth in the county.

Curbing Challenges

In the wake of serious challenges faced by the people of Gbarpolu over the lack of health center in several towns and villages, couple with deplorable roads conditions and accessible learning environment, a lawmaker from the county has embarked on capacity building and the provision of safe drinking water for citizens in that part of Liberia.

Representative Alfred Koiwood of District Number One noted that despite enormous challenges faced by the county, the need for quality education through capacity building and access to safe drinking water cannot be overemphasized.

According to him, the problem faced by the county cannot be addressed at once, naming joint collaboration by stakeholders and Gbarpolu County residents as a means to tackle development needs.

Representative Koiwood told FrontPage Africa over the weekend that the desire to put Gbarpolu County on par with other developing counties across Liberia can work out if various lawmakers begin to take personal initiatives on their own in the county, not relying on county development funds alone.

He said Gbarpolu currently boasts of mineral water supply, the first of its kind as well as two vocational institutions, one in Henry Town while the other is in Bopolu.

Rep. Koiwood expressed regret over difficulties being faced by students in the county to acquire vocational knowledge while awaiting entry to university.

Willie N. Tokpah – willie.tokpah@frontpageafricaonline.com

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