Gov’t Seeks Funding for Lofa Road Maintenance

first_imgDeputy Public Works Minister Claude Langley has disclosed that government is scouting for money for the maintenance of the Gbarnga to Voinjama road in Lofa County.Mr. Langley told a recent news conference that the road, which is currently in good shape  despite the rainy season, needs to be maintained.The road was rehabilitated by Westwood Corporation, a Liberian firm.The Gbarnga to Voinjama Highway, according to several officials who recently traveled to Lofa with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, is so far the best in rural Liberia.The road is better for the first time in the last four years, since the celebration of Liberia’s Independence in Lofa County in 2010.Some independent journalists who travelled with  President Johnson-Sirleaf to Lofa recently, said motorbikes (pen-pen), taxis and buses are currently engaged in serious transportation business because of the good condition of the road.Some residents of the county told our reporter that since the civil conflict, this is the first time Lofa has experienced low transport fares.  This, they noted, is because of the good road network in the county.Mr. Pewu Kollie, a resident of Zorzor, said prior to the rehabilitation of the road, commuters used to pay about L$4,500 per trip, “but now we are paying about L$3,000 from Voinjama to Monrovia.He described the drop in the transport fare as a great financial relief for the people of Lofa County and said “We want to thank the company for doing such a wonderful job.”“My brother, some companies will take the money and do a bad job, to the detriment of locals who have to face great difficulty  traveling on bad roads,  especially during the rainy season,” he said.Also speaking, Tenneh Baysah, a business woman in Voinjama, said “We used to travel with water, buckets, cook spoons and pots for cooking because we would spend more than a day on this road.  But today it takes a few hours, not days or a week from Monrovia to Voinjama.”“Goods, especially vegetables and other perishable commodities, are no longer getting rotten as before due to the number of days we would spend on the road, businesswoman Baysah said.According to our reporter, instead of days or a week, it now takes a maximum of five hours from Voinjama to Gbarnga, depending on the type of vehicle.The volume of traffic along the route has increased significantly, thus boosting economic activities and reducing prices, our reporter said.However, Deputy Minister Langley has given the assurance  that government will attract funding to keep the road intact.He attributed the deplorable road network in other parts of the country, especially in the southeast, to the lack of maintenance.According to him, the Ministry of Public Works lacks   the necessary equipment to maintain roads across the country and was looking for funding to ensure that roads  built or rehabilitated by contractors remain intact.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

2 more nations see bird flu

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The EU’s executive office said Croatian veterinary authorities had told them the H5 bird flu virus had been isolated in samples taken from wild swans found dead near a pond and a fish farm in the eastern part of the country. About 1,500 migratory swans arrived in the area a few days ago and a fish farmer then found about 15 of them dead, the EU said. Tests carried out by Croatian experts on samples from six of the birds led to the discovery of the virus. Croats had feared the arrival of bird flu in their country – a major migratory route for various bird species. Britain’s chief veterinarian, Debby Reynolds, said Friday the diseased parrot, which had been imported from Suriname and held in a quarantine unit with a shipment of birds from Taiwan, had tested positive for a “highly pathogenic” form of bird flu. Further tests were being carried out to see if the bird carried the H5N1 strain, which is easily transmitted between birds, but is hard for humans to contract. Experts are closely watching the disease, however, for fear it could mutate into a form easily transmitted between humans. The EU, which has also taken measures to restrict the import of live birds and feathers from Russia after the spread of bird flu there, said its vets were continuing to carry out tests on samples from suspect birds found in Greece. Norway on Friday joined other European countries in ordering poultry farmers to keep their flocks indoors as a precaution against the disease. In Latin America, meanwhile, top health officials from six Andean nations made plans to prevent a pandemic as Venezuela closed its border with Colombia over concerns about a milder strain not fatal to humans. Top regional health officials held a hastily arranged meeting Friday in Peru’s capital of Lima, downplaying the risk of bird flu hitting Latin America because it is largely isolated from migratory bird routes thought to be responsible for carrying the disease recently to Turkey and Romania. But Peruvian Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti said the six nations did agree to negotiate as a bloc to obtain Tamiflu, the drug thought to be most effective in treating the disease in humans. The Andean officials also agreed to establish a group to develop “a proposal to permit confronting jointly an eventual flu pandemic that would affect our region,” according to a statement. Honduras and Panama also said Friday they are monitoring their borders, had prohibited importation of birds from affected nations and would keep an eye on migratory birds, which officials fear could carry the disease to the Americas from Asia. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LONDON – Britain and Croatia confirmed cases of bird flu on Friday as countries around the world scrambled to put in place measures to prevent the spread of the virus. In Croatia, the Agriculture Ministry said the country’s first cases of bird flu were confirmed in six swans found dead in a national park. British officials said a parrot that had been imported from South America died of bird flu in quarantine. In both cases, authorities did not know whether the birds had the deadly H5N1 strain that has devastated poultry stocks across Asia and killed 60 people in the past two years. The strain has recently been found in birds in Russia, Turkey and Romania. The European Union said Friday it was preparing a ban on all poultry imports from Croatia. EU officials have previously ordered restrictions on bird markets and shows, and urged nations to present a program of vaccination for zoo birds as part of measures to head off the spread of the disease. last_img read more