Senator Begins Constituency Break with Major Projects in Grand Bassa
Grand Bassa County – The people of Nyuwein Administrative District, Grand Bassa County are still celebrating after Senator Jonathan Kaipay officially launched the implementation of a road and a major bridge project in their area.
The road, which is a major route connecting several towns in Grand Bassa and Nimba Counties, has been abandoned for over a decade, making locals in the area to face hardship.
Grand Bassa’s development council sitting has also failed to prioritize the road, while several appeals to the county authority and the Ministry of Public Works in past years have all failed.
“When we were campaigning in Grand Bassa County, we campaigned on a slogan that say ‘Development is Now’, today we are pleased to inform the people of Nyuwein Administrative District that based upon your cry, your commitment, and your desire to have modern road…, we have brought you two projects,” Senator Jonathan L. Kaipay told locals attending the ground breaking program in Desoe Town.
The two projects, with a total of US$105,000, are part of Senator Kaipay’s Legislative Support Projects in Grand Bassa County, which he described as projects that impact social change and transformation of the lives of people in rural communities.
The Grand Bassa Senator said he was influenced to initiate the projects after he visited the area three years ago, when he had not even contested for the Senatorial seat. Kaipay, who is now on his constituency break, recalled how he had to tour the entire county after his election in 2015.
“Upon our election as Senator, we came back to tell the people thank you, we toured the district …, and all they requested: Senator we need the road; we need the bridge – please help us,” Sen. Kaipay said.
According to the lawmaker, the people’s request came from the background that many pregnant women were dying because the bad road was preventing people from getting to the hospital and it is also hindering their livelihood.
Said Sen. Kaipay: “They said to me: this is the food basket for Grand Bassa County, but all our food we have to cross the St. John River, take it to Bong County and so the people of Bong County are being recognized as the county that is producing more food because we don’t have road.”
Already, several other towns in Nyuwein Administrative District have generated over LRD$300,000 and have started manually rehabilitating smaller bridges in other to ensure the full rehabilitation of the road.
“When people feel challenged, when people feel the need to help themselves, this is what they can do,” Kaipay told the Executive Director of the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), adding that the community has agreed to contribute other resources like sand and rocks which would reduce the total cost of the project .
“If your people have done such a thing then it challenged you to go all out and look for way to help them.”
Speaking later during the program, LACE Executive Director, Julius K. Sele called on the community to collaborate with the contractors for the success of the projects. He complained that contractors faced numerous challenges while working in some districts.
“Plenty time people will say that government project, that the Senator project…, but the Senator has the money given to him as Senator for the county, he can decide whether to come here or whether to go to (district) number one, or number two or just do everything in Buchanan,” Sele told locals in attendance at the program.
“But the fact that he decided to come here it means he has responded to what you asked him to do.”
While elaborating on the significance of the Legislative projects across the country, Mr. Sele named several projects that were implementing for Grand Bassa in 2015 including three markets, two schools, one clinic, and a youth center.
He assured that more projects will be done in 2016 due to the inclusion of Senators for the allotment of funds for legislative support projects at the national legislature.
“This year, you have Senators coming on board – and you see, while the representative money that US$70,000 across the whole country, the Senators got US$210,000 …, you will have almost US$900,000 coming to Grand Bassa County alone,” he said.
Senator Kaipay, who chairs the Liberian Senate’s legislative projects, earlier said the senate managed to get US$6M out of US$11million proposed in the draft national budget. US$210,000 was allotted him as legislative project fund.
“Out of that amount, we have negotiated and LACE has gone through the different processes and we are about to conclude the second part of it by following all the PPCC regulations and LACE regulations so that two major projects will take place in this district,” he said amidst loud applause from the audience.
The project will be done in phases with the first phase of the road covering 20 to 25 kilometers, and the bridge will be constructed over the Wee River. The latter has an estimated cost of US$160,000 and will also be done in phases.
Already, the Senator has instructed LACE to allocate US$70,000 for the first phase of the bridge project while approximately US$40,000 is require for the rehabilitation of the first phase of the road project.
“Those things that you asked us for, we want to make sure we do it because we want to see your life transform. Many times I tell my colleagues that I see you my people, the voters as my boss because in job protocol when your boss man sends you or ask you to do something you just have to do it…, I’m doing what you asked because I don’t want to be fired,” Senator Kaipay said.
Kaipay, before becoming Senator, initiated and constructed a US$150,000 major bridge in the district while working as the director for the United Methodist Church Department of Community Services (DCS).
The bridge project significantly gained him more votes in the area back in 2014 during the special Senatorial election in Grand Bassa County helping him to comprehensively defeat incumbent Senator and Pro Temp of the Liberian Senate, Gbehzongar Findley.