Liberia: Makeshift Bridge Sparks Concerns Amongst Students, Faculty At Grand Bassa College


Buchanan – Students and faculties of the Grand Bassa Community College have termed the temporary reconditioning of the damaged bridge leading to the campus of the college as a “death trap”.

Report by Elton Wroinbee Tiah

Community members are repairing the bridge with sticks leaving some students apprehensive, who are claiming that it would expose them to risk.

“I am not criticizing the work they’re carrying out but my concern is the safety of the students. Anytime those plinks can get rotten and it might cause bigger problem for we the students that will be using that bridge,” says Lawrence James, a student of the college.

However, some students and faculty say the makeshift bridge is preferable to the shutting down of the school.

Philip Johnson, an instructor of the college, told FPA that students and staff must “sacrifice” in order to remedy the situation.

“We all have to sacrifice, students need to give time and we need to do the proper thing. We the staff and faculty need to sacrifice by giving our salaries,” Johnson noted.

Jestino Gueh, another lecturer at the college in a Facebook post, wrote that the temporary work on the bridge would make quick intervention.

“I am inviting all faculty, staffs and students to come and see the bridge and stop looking at pictures to criticize the effort of others,” Gueh said.

“The bridge is not a building that will host more than 100 persons at a time but 2 to 3 persons can cross over that temporary bridge to go to school but not car”.

Student Darius Woyah called on students and staffs to be content with the temporary bridge until they are prepared to build a new one.

“Some of us are nearing graduation, besides we’re getting older, why can’t we manage this bridge for this semester and stop criticizing the efforts of others”, he asserted.

Reverend Samuel Reeves, Interim President of the College who has just returned from the United States of America, has reportedly made a pledge of L$1 million on behalf of the college administrator for the refurbishment of the bridge project.

The bridge collapsed a month ago after heavy rain caused massive flood to wash away the bridge and several homes in Pensberry, a suburb of Buchanan city.

After the bridge was wrecked by floodwaters, commuters were constrained to use canoe in order to have access to the campus or communities within its environs.

Students and faculties of the collage then launched a one-dollar campaign as means of reconstructing the bridge.

The campaign, during its launch, generated over L$1 million and over L$50,000 in cash but the funds have not reached the targeted US$2.5 million estimated for the repair of damaged bridge.

The bridge was constructed by Liberia American Mining Company (LAMCO) over 25 years ago, but was rehabilitated after the college moved to its new campus couple of years ago.

Meanwhile, the county administration has remain tight-lipped about the situation with immediate plans to reconstruct the bride remains unknown.