Liberia: USAID–FRAMP Project Makes Service Accessible For Rural Dwellers

Deputy Director USAID Office of Economic Growth, Rasheena Reid

Monrovia – The Deputy Director, USAID Office of Economic Growth, Rasheena Reid, says the entity support to the rehabilitation of farm–to–market roads has improved road condition in most parts of Liberia.

  Reid said the improvement is in the four counties where the Feeder Roads Alternative and Maintenance Program is being implemented.

  She said the intervention has provided rural dwellers access to essential services like education, health-care, water supply, local markets and economic opportunities, among others.

   The USAID Deputy Director, Office of Economic Growth, said the availability of such services and opportunities are difficult to sustain without a good quality, well-maintained rural road network.

    “It used to take 8—12 hour to travel from Gbarnga-Voinjama, but with the improvement of the road under the project the travel time has been reduced to about 4 hours,” Reid explained.

    Reid indicated that the donor and sponsor support of projects in Liberia will end but USAID and other partners are confident that the maintenance systems developed by FRAMP will be taken on by the Ministry of Public Works, local counties’ authorities and the private sector.

   She spoke Tuesday at the Cape Hotel in Mamba Point, Monrovia, during the end of a one–day “Road Maintenance Lessons Learned Workshop”, organized by FRAMP with support from USAID.

   Reid continued, “Let me take this opportunity to thank all the implementing partners for the great time and effort put into the construction of the roads in Bong, Nimba, Lofa and Grand Bassa counties. USAID embraces this partnership and wants to see it grow. This is one of the reasons the project has a component of training and capacity building.”

   She, however, restated USAID’s continue support to the Liberian government in its effort to develop the country.

   Speaking earlier on behalf of the participants, Bong County Superintendent, Esther Walker, thanked USAID for the project that is helping government in its improved road network.

   At the end of workshop, several recommendations, including capacity building, promoting labor–based road maintenance, pre–financing, promoting integration of other sectors, internship opportunity for exposure, and the extension to FRAMP activities to other counties were put forward.

   During the one-day workshop, the project status report was released, and community based-organizations road maintenance system, ALVRS (Alternative Low Volume Road Seals) construction and road rehabilitation, training and capacity building, as well as how the lessons learned from implementing FRAMP will inform road maintenance in Liberia were discussed.

    Earlier, the Chief of Party of FRAMP, Dr. Frederick M. Were-Higenyi, in his status report said, on the issue of strengthened community ownership of feeder roads and their ability to maintain them, they were able to form, train and contract 20 CBOs to maintain feeder roads.

   Dr. Were-Higenyi said FRAMP held 14 town hall meetings to discuss the strategy and build support and local ownership for maintenance of feeder roads, noting that over the period FRAMP provided construction oversight for road rehabilitation and supervised emergency repair of 248km of the Gbatnga-Voinjama-Foya highway.

   FRAMP is a four-year USAID-funded program to establish a sustainable, cost-effective feeder road network in Liberia. The program operates in Bong, Nimba, Lofa and Grand Bassa counties. The operation includes supervising road construction, managing road maintenance, training engineers, administrators, local engineering firms and community-based organizations (CBOs), student internship and testing low volume road seals. Cardno Emerging Markets, USA Ltd. has been contracted by USAID to implement the program. The FRAMP team works through a National Project Coordination Secretariat (PCS), which is mirrored in the counties.