Firestone Community Affaire Allegedly Prevents Ongoing Bridge Project

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By Mark N. Mengonfia: mmenginfia@gmail.com  

An ongoing bridge project in Margibi County has been allegedly stopped on the orders of the Community Affaire of Firestone Liberia.

The project accounting to some residents of Division 16 in Margibi County is being initiated by a private citizen based on an appeal from them (residents).

Division 16 is located in Margibi County District one which is being represented by Rep. Tiblrosa S. Tarponweh.   

In an interview, the Parents, Teachers Association (PTA) Chairperson of the only public school in the community said when he took over the as PTA chair, there were no road for student to commute on freely especially during the rainy seasons when they often have flooding and students will have to be carried by parents.

According to him, his leadership as chairperson of the PTA and seeing the needs of the school going kids, they opened the road from Drivers Camp to Long Camp as means of helping the students.

According to him, the previous connection for student’s free movement was done without the permission of Firestone but said he was taken aback when the present bridge project was reportedly stopped by Firestone Liberia.

“We fixed the road without Firestone consent and since we been here, Firestone has not fixed the road or has not stopped us from doing what is good for our people,” Saye Gueh said. 

According to him, since their lawmaker promised to have fixed the bridge during the campaign period, he has not gone back to undertake the process.  

Mr. Gueh said through an organization established in the community of which he is also heading, they requested one of their members in person of George M. Paye, a businessperson to help them with the bridge project.

“But this has turned political. Firestone told us told us to stop and by Tuesday they will get back to us,” Mr. Gueh said.

Also speaking, George Paye said, he was only approached by the residents to be a help but said he is surprised that the process will start taking a different dimensions.

According to him, he was told that the  bridge links four communities to The only School in the area  and from his personal assessment, the bridge looks like a death threat for school going kids something he said moved him to invest his personal resources into the project.

Paye said he and his workers have already transported materials to the site but he has been informed by his engineers that Firestone has stopped the project on ground that Firestone was not informed before the commencement of the ongoing project.

“I did not go looking for projects to do, the people engaged me,” he said.

He said he has been helping people of Margibi County as an ordinary citizen, but it surprises him why will the project in division 16 be stopped by Firestone.  

When he was asked about the estimated cost of the project that has been stopped, he said “about US$6,000.00 to have the concert bridge constructed.

The current bridge is made of woods which he said the people see as a threat to their kids.

According to him, he did not know that there would have been bottlenecks in building the bridge adding “I thought that it would have been like the women project I am undertaking for some marketers in the Duazon Market and Boys Town market.”

It is alleged that the mandate from Firestone is being implemented by a fellow only identified as Korvah. 

In an effort to establish the reality of the allegation against Firestone, Mr. Korvah switched off his phone on grounds that he does not want to talk with any journalist.

Our call was followed with a text message, but no respond.

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About Post Author

New Republic Feature Writer

Alphonso has  been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.
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