The Coalition of Youth & Students to Enhance Peace and Democracy has extolled the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Public Works in collaboration with the SIDA, for the launch of the ground breaking for the pavement of a 6.85km street in Voinjama, Lofa County.
The coalition group, during a press conference held at a local restaurant in Monrovia, listed the pivotal role the government has played through the Ministry of Public Work in ensuring that better roads and infrastructures are erected to meet international standards.
The Coalition’s Executive Director, Amos B.S. Kanneh emphasized that: “This ground-breaking ceremony is unprecedented and momentous as it marks the first time in recent history specifically under this administration, that streets and cities in Liberia are being paved.
He said furthered: “In addition to breaking grounds for the pavement of the Voinjama city streets, we are happy that Vice President Joseph Boakai played an important role in the dedication of 152.65km of feeder roads in Lofa County.”
Mr. Kanneh noted that the feeder roads were completely rehabilitated in 2012 and are currently benefiting hundreds of thousands of Liberian citizens in the area.
It is gathered that the Voinjama city streets project is being jointly financed by the Governments of Liberia and Sweden under a cost-sharing arrangement in which SIDA will provide funding of USD2, 179,043.00 and the Government of Liberia will provide USD3, 256,279.00.
The Liberia- Sweden Feeder Road Project is a model of Liberia’s rural road infrastructural development and the rehabilitation of feeder roads, initially in Bong and Lofa Counties and is now being extended to targeted communities in Nimba County, Minister Woods said in a press conference held last year. The road project is expected to benefit over 1,067,000 persons in Lofa and Nimba Counties.
The framework for the delivery of the road rehabilitation, he said is the Liberia Swedish Feeder Roads Rehabilitation Project, LSFRP and the project is expected to be completed within a three-year period.
The projects’ overall goal is to contribute to the reduction of poverty in the country and to ensure a sustainable road access in communities in Lofa, Bong and Nimba Counties, and to enhance their livelihood potentials in the agriculture sector.
The Executive Director of the Coalition also observed the erection of an 18 meter reinforced concrete bridge which facilitates travels of people and goods between Foya, Kolahun, Vezela, Lawalazu and Voinjama by the Public Works Ministry.
He said since 2009, Sweden has invested a total of US$32 million in the LSFRP. Already, a total of 197 km (105.7 km in Bong and 91.3 km in Lofa) feeder roads have been rehabilitated and 30 re-enforced concrete bridges completed.
Mr. Kanneh indicated that the project has significantly contributed to increasing commercial activities, increase in the number of weekly markets and has increased sale of agriculture produce. It has also increased access to basic services, schools, clinics, reduction in cost of basic goods and services, including transportation.
According to him, this project has also provided opportunities for increased employment of young men and women below the age of 35 years as well as opportunities for new artisan skills required in the road construction sector.
Mr. Kanneh intoned: “The project has increased the capacity of participating contracting entities in understanding tendering processes and procedures and road construction cycle management.”
He further maintained that the project fulfills the Government of Liberia’s policy of capacity building for Liberian engineers as well as providing opportunities for increased employment of young men and women including opportunities for new artisan skills required in the road construction and maintenance sector.
At the same time, Mr. Kanneh has stated that the proliferation of praises coming from Liberians and newspapers in the country to Minister Woods for the immense services he has rendered and is still rendering the Liberian people, are indeed clear-cut unimpeachable rating that the minister delivered magnificently among his peers.