Liberia Gets US$21.6M to Boost Feeder Roads in South-east Region
Monrovia – The government of Liberia through the Ministry of Public Works Wednesday April 26, 2017 signed a US$ 21.6 million agreement with the Sweden to support a third phase of the Swedish feeder roads project in seven counties.
Report by Henry Karmo – henry[email protected]
The agreement will bring relief to citizens from the south eastern part of Liberia. The region has suffered from bad roads condition especially during the raining seasons.
At some point citizens of those parts of the Country are cut-off from the rest of the country as a result of bad roads.
Bad roads for south easterners has become a concern for many including south eastern lawmakers who have vowed not to vote for the passage of the 2017/2018 fiscal year budget if the issue of the south eastern road is not properly captured in the budget.
The US$ 21.6 million contribution from the Swedish government is in support of a four year project titled “Liberia Swedish” Feeder road project phase 3.
In the agreement the government of Liberia will provide funding of approximately US$ 8.7 million dollars for road maintenance through the new Liberia road fund.
The signing of the agreement held Wednesday between the Minister of Public works William Gyude Moore and Torbjorn Patterson Assistant Director General for Africa Affairs at the Swedish Embassy in Liberia, is the third phase of the Liberia Swedish feeder roads project.
At the signing ceremony Patterson said, his country is a long standing partner to Liberia in several areas of development and the role of a broad nationwide economic development has been identified as one of the key areas for the Swedish support.
He said, his government is pleased with the type of roads built in Liberia under the Swedish project but stressed the need for Government to commit some money to the maintenance of these roads something he said could guarantee longer life spent of the projects.
Patterson said: “Better road accessibility improves the living conditions of all Liberians. Children can get to school and women can get to hospitals. With better roads farmers in rural areas will produce more crops to take to the market and the urban people will benefit from better quality, variety and prices of crops.”
He believes feeder roads connect communities of small-scale farmers to functioning road networks, thereby enhancing the service delivery, agricultural diversification and inclusive growth objectives of the Government of Liberia.
Policies as set in the key national development documents include the Agenda for Transformation, Transport master plan, the decentralization policy and a proposed local government Act.
The Swedish diplomat said, the overreaching goal of the phase 3 project is to support the government of Liberia to rehabilitate and spot improve some 370 kilometres feeder roads in the south east, one of the most poorly served and poorest regions of Liberia and to support the Ministry of Public Works to develop both routine and periodic maintenance management systems which are crucial to improving the longevity of Liberia’s roads.
In response to the agreement Minister Moore said the government of Liberia has done everything necessary to set the stage for the US$ 21.6M; which include passing the road maintenance act by the Legislature.
The act has placed over US$ 50 Million in the Country National budget for the purpose of road maintenance.
Moore claims that money comes as a relief to south easterners who have for so long been faced with the challenge of bad roads.