Liberian Government Must Invest in Infrastructure Projects to Create Jobs and Give Country Major Facelift
By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh
One of the ways an administration can create jobs is to build roads, bridges, streets, sidewalks, and other public works projects such as water, sewer, drainage systems and landfills to dispose garbage, public restrooms and painting public buildings.
Roads in rural Liberia are deplorable and inaccessible. (See pic above)
Also, a visit to any section in the City of Monrovia and other areas will surely remind the person of the urgent need to build infrastructures in the country.
How can anyone in the Sirleaf administration – and even Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Liberian Legislature not take the need to build infrastructures including public restrooms in the country, seriously?
Funding and building infrastructure projects can get an administration going in terms of putting some of the nation’s unemployed back to work, and proudly owning the bragging rights that come with it in terms of accomplishments that affect lives and change the face of the country in a positive way.
I saw it in Monrovia when Raymond Construction set up camp there in the 1970s to build roads and the city’s streets, and in Sinoe County, when the logging, timber and lumber company, Vanply, went there to do business.
I remember very well years ago when those companies set up camps in the areas mentioned. During that time, Liberians anxiously traveled there in droves in search of employment.
Even though Liberians were paid very little in terms of salaries, the presence of those companies in those areas changed lives, because many Liberians were employed. And when those Liberians were fortunate to get employment, they live in the area until there no longer are jobs for them to do.
In short, Liberians want to work, period!
The coming of LAMCO, Bong Mining Company and the other companies saw the same story told from end to finish, with Liberians traveling out of their comfort zones to look for work wherever they can find work to survive in Liberia’s tough economic climate.
There is an urgent need to expand existing streets and roads in and around the City of Monrovia, and in other parts of the country.
Give Liberian contractors those contracts to get the job done. However, there should be a competitive bidding process for any qualified Liberian contractor to get such contract.
For example, all of Bushrod Island and the road leading to Gardnerville, (from Free Port) and other areas where there are daily and nerve-wreaking traffic jams, cannot be ignored and shoved under the rugs as if it is normal to have those kinds of aggravating traffic jams.
Why should it be?
I don’t know if it is true but I heard that during rush hour traffic in the mornings and evenings when Monrovians are either going to work or school, or are returning home, high ranking government officials (usually those driving government vehicles) are known to disrespectfully and rudely cut in front of other drivers to get ahead.
Knowing how dysfunctional Liberia is with no rule of law and law and order, a Liberian who challenges such official abuse of power can be beaten brutally or sent to prison for daring to say anything to that high ranking government official for crossing in front of them.
My people, the “do you know who I am” nonsense is still breathing life in Liberia in the Ellen Johnson administration.
Instead of these government officials and members of the legislature worrying about class and status, they should be busy putting forth policies and practical ways to implement policies that will benefit the Liberian people.
We now have serious beach erosion crisis. Any funds appropriated yet to deal with the erosion crisis that could eventually put coastal Liberia under water? Remember now that part of New Kru Town and D-Twe High School are almost under water. Greenville, Sinoe County, Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, West Point, Hotel Africa, part of JFK Hospital, and other parts of Liberia are nearly under water.
The country is in need of sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks that will make it safe for ordinary Liberians/Monrovians to walk the streets without being run over by a vehicle with a drunk driver, or run over by a person under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the control. The streets are also dirty. Any truck with a vacuum attached to it to sweep the streets?
The country needs sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks that will make it safe for ordinary Liberians/Monrovians to walk the streets without being run over by a presidential motorcade, as it was the case when President Sirleaf’s motorcade on November 30, ran over two young boys, Melvin Tucker aged 7, and Jackson Tucker, aged 9 years, as both kids crossed Monrovia’s busy streets.
Who is chasing the President of Liberia for her motorcade to go with such speed in a busy area, to kill those two kids? Are there any laws on the books to guide against such violation, and to protect Liberian citizens?
The streets are crowded in Monrovia. Roads and streets are narrow (two-way). Monrovia needs new streets and sidewalks. This can happen only when the Liberian legislature appropriates the funds needed to carry out infrastructure projects that will put Liberians back to work.
As a matter of pride and patriotism, the do-nothing-bench-warming Liberian legislature must do something now.
The Liberian legislature must appropriate the funds to build new roads, expand existing roads to relieve traffic congestion, build streets and bridges and sidewalks, build landfills, build restrooms and make Monrovia and Liberia a safe and livable place.
The nation’s political leader and presidential candidates must put the creation of jobs on the top of their lists.
The country seriously needs jobs to put its men, women and teenagers to work.
This can only happen when the national legislature and the President of Liberia work together in the interest of the people and country to make it happen.