Bad roads impede free movement in Gbarnga
SOURCE: BY: PATRICK S. TOKPAH









Deplorable roads in Gbarnga City and its environs are hampering free movement of people, goods and services.

 

Some of the principal streets of the city and its environs are becoming almost inaccessible by vehicles as a result of the bad road conditions.

 

The affected areas include the Progressive road, People road, Kokoyah Road, Rubber Factory Community Road, among others. 

Some citizens and residents of Gbarnga who spoke with the INSIGHT said they are disappointed by the past leadership of Bong County.

According to the aggrieved citizens, the past leadership of Bong County immensely contributed to the backwardness of the County as it relates to genuine development.

The Citizens told the INSIGHT that in 2012, the leadership of the county budgeted US $ 662,300 from the County’s Social Development Funds to procure a front-end loader, a Motor grader and a Dump truck for the purpose of rehabilitating existing roads in Gbarnga and its environs and to embark on the construction of new roads in the county.

The citizens further disclosed that the county leadership, at the time, paid to a vendor about US$ 634,300 for the front- end loader and the Motor grader with a balance of US$28,000 to complete payment for the Dump truck if the first set of the equipment had arrived.

The citizens did not disclose the name of the vendor to whom payments of the equipment was made allegedly by the county’s former leadership.

But, it has been established that the County is yet to pay the unnamed vendor the reported balance of US$28,000 for the County to take delivery of the truck.

The front –end loader and the Motor grader were refurbished, even though members of the 53rd Bong County legislature Caucus along with others said the machines were brand new.

According to the citizens, Bong County’s Senator at the time, Jewel Howard Taylor, strongly differed with her legislative comrades that the machines were brand new.

However, the machines were used by the county leadership to repair some of the deplorable streets in the city since 2013.

The machines were also used on rotation by some members of Bong County Legislative Caucus (in the 53rd Legislature) in their districts to rehabilitate roads.

Representative Marvin Cole, one of the newly elected lawmakers, early this year, hired the motor grader to recondition the road to his village. The INSIGHT also understands that the motor grader has since broken down and has been parked in his village. At the moment, “Gbarnga roads are filled with potholes and remain in dangerous conditions,” the citizens said.

“It is terrible and dangerous to ride around Gbarnga,” one of the residents complained.

 When contacted recently by the INSIGHT for comment on the concerns of the citizens, Bong County Assistant Superintendent for Development, Anthony Sheriff, said the county does not have money at the moment to repair the road machines.

He said during the next Bong County Council Sitting, the county leadership will allot a budget for the repair of the road equipment.

Even though there has not been a County Council Sitting since 2014, Mr. Sheriff said the leadership of the county allotted money last year to repair the machines, but the repair was not done.

According to Mr. Sheriff, last year, the county allotted US$15,000 to repair the machines, but that money was used as part of pre-financing payment for some road rehabilitation works in Gbarnga.

 
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