Liberia: US$47K Clinic Project Abandoned In Bong County

The Project Which Was Started Three Years Ago with Funds from the County and Social Development Fund Has Been Left to Rot as The Bushes of Baila, Bong County

Baila, Kpaii District, Bong County – A clinic in Baila, electoral district one in Bong County, which was built three years ago with $47,000 from the County and Social Development Fund, is falling apart. The doors are rotting, thieves stole some of the windows and doors and overgrown grass surrounds the building.

Inside, thick cobwebs are everywhere, and the beds are covered with dust, though, the painting is still fresh. Women, especially pregnant ones, were full of excitements when the clinic was completed. Located between the border of Bong and Nimba counties, it is meant to serve more than 15 communities.

The clinic is yet to open since former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf dedicated the building in 2015.

Residents use the place as toilet. In May this year, criminals broke into the building and stole doors and windows. The clinic was expected to ease pressure on the Palala Clinic, which is about ten minutes’ drive from Baila Town.

Anthony Sheriff, Bong County’s assistant superintendent for development, said the county does not have money to renovate the clinic and replace the windows and doors.

The county, he said, cannot afford to hire security. The clinic has four rooms, waiting room bathrooms for male and female and an office. The clinic was one of the projects approved during the 2012-2013 county development sitting.

Bong County Superintendent Esther Walker said the county is strapped for cash.

The CSDF is a major source of funding for development projects, but the Ministry of Finance Development and Planning (MFDP) has not disbursed CSDF to the county for the last one year.

Walker said MFDP officials told her that the country was in transition and so, they cannot make CSDF remittances to counties.

In addition, the three concession companies operating in the county did not fulfill all their financial obligations to the county, she said.

Some Kpaii residents are upset with the county for not opening the clinic due to the lack of drugs and other medical supplies. It is disheartening that the clinic has not been opened to citizens since it was built, residents said.

If the clinic can’t open due to the lack of drugs, then it was a waste of money, residents said.

“That is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money,” said Alex Kwakeh. “Three years now, and this clinic has been here without people making use of it.’’

Jerry Tomah, also a resident of Kpaii, said county officials should be held accountable for not using CSDF money wisely.

Citizens need to be more involved in deciding projects for the county. Most times, county leaders make decisions on how to spend CSDF money that’s why many of the projects don’t impact the citizens, Tomah said.

Lawmakers turns deaf hear?

A former aide of former representative Tokpah Mulbah, who spoke under the condition of anonymity said though the clinic was built under past government, the new lawmaker of the district might not do much.  According to him, a commissioner’s compound Bosein District by the former lawmaker also has been abandoned.

Rep. Junior Hills of District One, which comprises of Kokoyah and Kpaii Districts, was contacted via phone but he repeatedly terminated the calls. Text messages sent to him were not replied.

Notwithstanding, the community head has appealed to the state government to urgently provide the clinic with qualified doctors, nurses and drugs to make it operational.

“The previous government of former president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf spent so much money to build this clinic, but we don’t want it to become a waste,” he told FrontPageAfrica.