By Precious D. Freeman
The new Swedish Ambassador to Monrovia, Urban Sjostrom has paid a one-day working visit to the ongoing motorcycle tracks project in Bong County.
The project is owned by the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) and funded by the Liberia Swedish Feeder Road Project plane-3 team, the implementing partners, the contractor Lofa Infrastructure Development Agency (LIDA) and GIZ.
Speaking at a program held at the Totota Lutheran Compound, Ambassador Sjostrom expressed gratitude to the people of Bong County for the warm welcome given to him and his team.
According to him, it is also a good experience on his first assignment to Liberia to visit Bong County, adding that Sweden and Liberia are good friends and that he sees the cooperation between the two countries as a good opportunity.
He further stated that he envisages better result in all infrastructural development for Bong County and the Ministry of Public works.
The Ambassador further planned for a partnership between the County Administration, Civil Society and the Ministry of Public Works, adding that the Superintendent of Bong County should consider the project very important which is to transform from foot-path to motorcycle track for sustainable development.
The Public Works Minister, Ruth Cooker Collins expressed gratitude to the Swedish government and GIZ on behalf of President George Manneh Weah for the support in the construction of feeder road capacity building, maintenance of feeder roads and the construction of motorcycle tracks in Bong County.
According to her, the Swedish are classified as ‘Giants for Feeder Roads’ in Liberia, adding that they are also one of the major founders for the Feeder road program in Liberia.
Minister Collins also recounted the government’s support to the road maintenance through the President who helped financially by giving USD 1million in the National budget to support Community Base Organizations (CBOs) to engage highly on road maintenance.
She added that the CBOs program will also be decentralized to address road maintenance work. She then appreciated all of the partners, CBOs, Engineers and other technicians that helped in making the project a successful one for the people.
The construction of Motorcycle Tracks Pillar Projects in Bong County is considered as a new phenomenon within the road transport sector that seeks to provide support for farmers and community dwellers whose towns and villages are of missing links to the Liberia Swedish Feeder Project (LSFRP3).
Impact monitoring baseline survey have provided indications that farmers find it difficult to transport their agricultural products from their farms to the districts markets along constructed feeder roads done by LSFRP.
Usually, sick people from neighboring towns and villages always suffer due to the deplorable road condition when going for medical treatment; students also commute on foot-path between 10km to 12km daily to and from school under difficult circumstances.
With the aid of this pillar tracks project when completed, travel time and cost for farmers and other track users are expected to be reduced and more motorcyclists would have the opportunity as well as explore through a new surface riding on a motorcycle track.
This pillar approach is highly cardinal in nature and would serve as another Rural Development Program for the Road Transport Sector in the quest to support the government’s national agenda: Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
Swedish Ambassador Visits MPW Motorcycle Tracks
By Precious D. Freeman