Liberia: Residents of Nimba, Grand Gedeh Plan Protest against Deplorable State of Road
TAPPITA, Lower Nimba County – Residents of Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties have threatened to set a road blockade on the Tappita-Zwedru Highway because the government has failed to pave the road as promised.
Report by Franklin Doloquee, Contributor
The blockade, according to residents in Tappita, would be set up next week as a means of expressing their frustration with the sufferings they continue to endure during the rainy seasons.
The protest would be led by aggrieved residents and members of the business community in both counties.
Sam Carr, a businessman in Tappita told our correspondent businesses within that belt are compelled to buy their goods between now and early April before the rain starts as cost of transporting them during the rainy season would be very expensive.
He lamented during the rainy season, the prices of most commodities go very high, transportation becomes a major challenge and their health gets on the line as access to medical facilities, including the biggest referral Hospital in the region, Jackson F. Doe Hospital, becomes almost impossible.
He said due to the deplorable condition of the road, they have to pay L$500 to transport a bag of 25kg rice.
Ezekiel Toomey, a school teacher, has abandoned the classroom in Toe Town, Grand Gedeh County, for Tappita to buy food for his family that would last for at least four months during the rainy season since roads would not be accessible and prices would skyrocket. He added that in Toe Town, Grand Gedeh County, there’s often no goods to buy during the rainy season, as they have to commute to Tappita to buy essential commodities. He said he has over the past two weeks been in Tappita searching for money to buy his family’s food before the rain comes.
Owners of businesses in the between Tappita and Toe Town, who did not want to be named told FrontPage Africa that they are tired with empty promises by the government. Most of them said they voted overwhelmingly for this government with the hope their plight would have been taken into consideration.
“We need to show to this government that we, too, are citizens of this country. They cannot abandon us like that. They have no idea of what we go through when the rain starts. You will not even believe that some people stay in their houses for days without having food, simply because they cannot afford since everything get very expensive during the rainy season,” a businesswoman in Toe Town told FrontPage Africa.
She continued: “This is why we will have to block the road now. We’ll not let anybody pass here. No need. If we stop them from passing here, they’ll know we mean business.”
Another member of the group of businessmen and women told they mobilized heavily during the 2017 election campaign to ensure victory for President George Weah. However, to them, it seems the government has turned its back on them.
“We expected him to prioritize us. We made him president. We made sure he won a lot of votes from this area. It was in the rainy season when the election was held, yet, we walked under the rain, in this muddy road, some of us had to go to our polling places days before the election just to ensure that we make him President and yet, we cannot see him or the work of his hand here. We’ll block this road. We will make him feel our presence.”
Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Nimba County, David Dorr Cooper, has called on the aggrieved business people to call off the protest as the local authorities is engaging government to extend the ongoing road construction to the county.