Grand Bassa Hails Senator Kaipay for Feeder Road Projects
Buchanan, Grand Bassa County – The responsibilities that come along with succeeding the once powerful Pro Temp of the Liberian Senate, Gbehzongar Findley are enormous. But Findley’s replacement is earning some kudos from across Grand Bassa County – thanks to his feeder roads initiative.
There are some concerns about his ability to pull political strings at the Capitol in other to gain prominence in Liberia’s body politics like the former Grand Bassa Senator did. Others are eager to know how he plans to maintain these feeder roads rehabilitation projects.
Recently, at the start of refurbishment work on the Waka Town to Compound Two road in District Two, residents in the area praised the lawmaker for what they term as ‘far-sightedness’. For Kaipay, it might be about fulfilling his campaign promises; for the locals, it’s a massive impact on improving their livelihood.
“The entire district citizens are happy by what he’s doing…; we are very happy because road going into Number two (District Two) will eased problems for not only marketers and farmers because if there is bad road condition, the pregnant women are also affected,” explained Amos Johnson, District Two Commissioner.
Many of these roads being rehabilitated were abandoned for decades and with little done by county administration due to limited resources compounded with the Ministry of Public Works failure to concentrate on feeder roads in rural Grand Bassa County. For example, the Rally Road in District Three has been abandoned since 1977 creating untold hardship of thousands of Liberians in that part of Grand Bassa County for almost four decades.
For now, farmers and marketers in these areas are expressing relief. Some say weekly markets will resume after the roads are reconditioned. “We used to set load on our heads and walk for hours to get on this main road before going to Compound Three Market just to sell our farm produce,” Marpue Yeaney, a resident of District Three explained when work started on the Rally Road.
Works on Rally Road, Waka Town to Compound Two and the Own your own community in Buchanan have accumulated some praises for Senator Kaipay. “Once he continues to fix these roads, he will continue to win the support of a lot of people in Grand Bassa County,” asserted Daniel Johnson of Buchanan City. “Our people in the rural areas really need road to help transport their markets for selling,” Johnson added.
Grand Bassa Superintendent, J. Levi Demmah admits that Senator Kaipay has put him under pressure with these initiatives, while promising to fully support any development initiative by any politician in the county. “We will support any development drive in the county or the district for our people relief,” Demmah said recently.
Most financial and other supports are forth coming, compliments of several others and Kaipay recently asserted that the locals in these areas will always be motivated by these community projects by showing the potential of collaborating. He has however cautioned his fellow politicians against using development as a competition.
“Development is not competition between leaders, between government officials and between citizens,” Senator Kaipay averred. “Development is a process that people work together because they love their people, they believe in their people and they think they should do something to impact their lives.”
The Grand Bassa County lawmaker continues to emphasize that he’s committed to working with all stakeholders in other to foster development in the county. “The challenge is for us as caucus to remain focus; for us as individuals to work together but once you take these giant steps I think there prospect for people to join you,” he added.
Observers say his work with the Department of Community Services of the United Methodist Church largely influenced his political career with a more hands-on approach. In 2014, as Director of the UMC-DCS he managed a US$1.2 million project but as proceeding political activities of the 2014 senatorial elections heightened, there were speculations of misappropriations of the church development funds.
Notwithstanding, the Liberty Party lawmaker continues to vaunt about being exonerated after series of audits. This year, the UMC-DCS is preparing to build a US$80,000.00 school in Grand Bassa County in his honor as a means of rewarding the county, for what the project considers as Kaipay’s outstanding work during his time with the church.
Critics’ Views Tracking Kaipay
Although the lawmaker appears to be making gains in attracting praises from folks in rural Grand Bassa, critics insist his political influence at the national level is frail. In 2015, Kaipay became vocal on the President – accusing the Chief Executive of violating the constitution after hand-picking recommendations from the Constitution Review conference held in Gbarnga, Bong County. The Senator argument, some say had constitutional reliance but it hasn’t gained the much attention within the legislature so far.
Meanwhile, there’s also increasing demand from people of Wee Statutory District (District Three) for the completion of a health center that has been under construction since 2013 when Kaipay served as Director of the UMC-DCS.
Political interference led to the county administration delaying to disburse funds in other to compliment the church’s efforts in implementing the project. With Senator Kaipay now a key member of the county Legislative caucus, many expect the project to expedite but the bottlenecks are still impediments.
Both the county administration and the caucus have recently confirmed that US$93,000.00 has been allotted for the project after several obstacles including the moratorium on county funds and the Ebola outbreak. “As we speak the fund is available, the project will resume very soon and I can say before December (this year) people of Gorblee will start to utilize that health facility,” Kaipay told FrontPageAfrica recently.
Alpha Daffae Senkpeni,[email protected]