Tappita, Nimba County – Amid President George Manneh Weah’s much anticipated maiden tour of the counties, a group of diaspora citizens hailing from the Ziah region in Nimba County are calling on him to build the feeder road linking their community to Tappita City, a major commercial and learning center within the region.
The Ziah region, comprising several towns and villages including Ziah #1, Ziah #2 and Kpeletuo, is one of the most populated areas (about 20,000) which falls within District #9, Nimba County and Tappita Statutory District.
Residents of the areas, mostly farmers, use the road to take their farm produce to Tappita, and in turn purchase basic materials they need to take back home. They also ply the road to seek medication either at clinics in Tappita since there is no functional health center within the area or the Jackson F. Doe Referral Hospital.
But currently, an age-old problem is making life unbearable for residents of the area. The road linking the area with Tappita has become inaccessible to vehicles due to its deplorable condition, leaving citizens stranded to take their crops to market.
The hospital’s ambulance cannot ply the road owing to the deep cuts and damaged bridges. On most occasions, patients, including pregnant women died while being transported to Tappita either on motorbike or in hammock. Recently, a pregnant woman in her mid-twenties died at child birth because the hospital’s ambulance could not make it to her and the midwives who fought tirelessly to safe her all because of the bad road, according to a local radio station in Tappita.
In an open letter to President Weah, the group’s spokesperson, Chris N. Saylee made a passionate appeal to President Weah, seeking his urgent intervention to bring relief to residents of that part of Nimba County.
Excerpt of the letter: “Mr. President, the most disheartening and frustrating part is that pregnant women, children and sick people die on their way, while trying to seek medical attention to the Jackson F. Doe Referral Hospital in Tappita because of the bad road condition. The market women, farmers and the entire citizenry of Ziah community will forever be grateful to you if you can free us from this nightmare.”
Writing further, the citizens said they are willing to render their support by rallying their people and local authorities on the ground to ensure the project is implemented successfully if the President agrees to their request.
Giving some historical backgrounds about the more than 50 kilometers road, the residents, in the communication said the road was roughly opened in the 1930s by the citizens themselves using cutlasses, axes, spreaders, wheelbarrows, diggers and other crude tools, among others.
It was not until 1979, the earth moving machines were sent there by the late President William R. Tolbert to expand the road.
However, since 1979, the citizens said there have been no rehabilitation work done on the road, thus making it completely inaccessible to car as the bridges have all damaged.
Also speaking to FrontPage Africa, the Mr. Saylee drew President’s Weah attention to the health needs of residents in the area. According to them there is no functional clinics. People there, have to commute to Tappita on the 25 to 30 kilometers road either on motorbike or by walking for hours.
According him, a clinic was erected in 2012 but the Ministry of Health through the Nimba County Health Team has failed to open it and the building, while the building is beings used as shelter for domestic animals.
“The citizens of Ziah Zones have cried on the Nimba County Health Team to see reason to open that clinic but they have failed to do so from 2012 up to present,” the group through its Spokesperson, Saylee said.
He continued: “Pregnant women and children die on a daily basis because of no healthcare system there. That beautiful building is now used as a sleeping place for ducks, goats and sheep.”