UNIBOA Mini Project takes off in Grand Bassa County
By: T.Alexander Bealded in Bassa
Please click here to see beginning construction photos
Lower Buchanan, Grand Bassa County:The UNIBOA Mini-Project scheduled to be undertaken in the 4 Bassa Counties; comprising, Grand Bassa, Rivercess, Montserrado, and Margibi within the next 2 years.
According to the President of UNIBOA, Mr. Alfred Dousuah, there are plans for other low-scaled projects (mini-projects) to be carried out in the other Bassa counties when identified.
The Mini-project Initiative is designed to promote community infrastructure development in the Bassa Region in the Republic of Liberia. The Bassa Region refers to in this program is the political sub-division comprising of the four counties, Grand Bassa, River Cess, Montserrsdo, and Margibi in the Republic of Liberia.
The mini-project initiative is designed to be short-term, less costly and specific in nature. It shall be limited to neighborhood development such as local market building, library, safe-drinking well etc.
Following the identification and review process, The UNIBOA Mini-Project will be undertaken by UNIBOA in collaboration with local leaders and residents of the designated Districts. UNIBOA will provide the funding and supervision of the projects while the residents provide the land, manpower and local materials. The mini-project initiative shall be embarked upon simultaneously alongside approved major programs of UNIBOA.
As evidence by the current National Reconstruction and Poverty Reduction Policies, lack of neighborhood community infrastructure development, unsafe drinking water, and inadequate healthcare remain huge challenge in many parts of the nation including the Bassa region. Making matter worst was the 14 years of civil conflict, which devastated the already poor or deplorable conditions in the region, particularly the rural area.
This condition has resulted to mass migration of the inhabitants to the urban sectors escalating into over-crowdedness and hazard human conditions.
Equally so, the rural community has been the principal victims of this condition, even though they have had no direct role in bringing it about, nor have they had the opportunity to reverse it. Previous development policies by the central government of Liberia have primarily marginalized the rural and suburban areas. There is clearly the need to address not only the socio-justice and political aspects, but also address the socio-economic component.
As our mission over the years, the role of UNIBOA has been focused on education and healthcare. At this point, we realize with compassion to also pay attention to infrastructure developments with emphasis on socio-economic growth.
The objective of the initiative is to embark on the construction of neighborhood markets to accommodate marketers selling under the torrential rain and tropical sun, constructs Hand-pump Wells to provide safe drinking water or builds infrastructure identified by residents.
The projects are to become community owned and managed upon completion. To ensure proper management, ownership and entitlement, UNIBOA shall work cooperatively with the local leaders and residents in the constructions process.
The residents shall provide manpower and local materials. The Mini-Project initiative is a program designed to be proactive and effective in responding to the urgent needs of our people in the counties.
The following is a report of the groundbreaking ceremony wired by Alexander Bealded, Staff Reporter at the officer of Representative Gabriel B. Smith on Capitol Hill in Monrovia. This report was submitted on April 17, 2010.
Rep. Smith and LAC make huge donations to the Mini- Project [market construction] in Bassa
In his report Alexander Beadded wrote, “The quiet, despondent day in the port city of Buchanan turned lively and gigging when the only place of attraction turned to the Monrovia junction, Raylight market just few minutes drive from the main city”.
Grand Bassa is one of the original counties of Liberia along with Montserrado and Sinoe, but remains one of the most underdeveloped counties in the post war history of the country. The county benefits from a lot of companies, businesses and corporations yet the vast major of its people live under adverse poverty leaving many of the conviction that a lot more needs to be done by the national government in seeking the welfare of people whose counties significantly contribute to the country’s economy.
Many political commentators have attributed the downward trend of the county to divisive politics, greed for power and envy.
Genially, the county can today boast of a momentous portion of the nation’s brains, both in private, public places as well as in the Diaspora.
In his report, Bealded describes the ceremony as ‘the euphoria moment’ at the market groundbreaking. This appears like a Jesus enters Jerusalem scenario, as hundreds of people turned out wearing their T-shirts printed on them ‘Friends for All’ with smiles written on their faces.
The market is one, in a very deplorable state and as the rainy season draws closer; it poses even more challenges to the locals, especially the marketers.
The people at the Monrovia Junction Market, a place crowded with several passengers everyday for many routes to both Monrovia and the hinterland appeared forgotten by local county authorities until this triumphant entry.
‘A market woman walked over to me for the first time in my Legislative duties, handed me a soft drink and said thank you, even with this little, I saw appreciation written on her face’ said Rep. Gabriel Smith in dismay. T
he dances, laughter and music filled the air as several marketers saw themselves overcoming the fast approaching rainy season.
Rep Gabriel Smith pledges initial donation of hundred bags of cement
The actual cost of constructing a decent, modern market building with concrete pillars, concrete floor, storage and zinc roof has been estimated at seventeen thousand United States dollars.
Grand Bassa county Representative Gabriel Smith in collaboration with The United Bassa Organizations in the Americas, UBNIBOA initiated the project during his trip the United State.
On his part, Rep Smith kicks off the ceremony by an initial donation of one hundred bags of cement to begin the construction. Hon. Smith said this was his initial contribution; he would continue his contribution until the project is completed.
Rep. Smith is known for contributing to several market projects in Bassa including the construction of the Tubman Street market in the heart of Buchanan and a warehouse construction in the general Market.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Rep. Smith, an SDA prelate then quoted scriptures from the Bible book of Nehemiah.
In pursuit of God’s words he started up with building Jerusalem but while in the process there were some detractors and envious people who wanted the process a failure but they were crushed, by this he meant any obstacle to the process would be crushed.
Speaking the Bassa dialect to several onlookers Hon. Smith urged them to be resourceful and hardworking as well unifying. He asked their moral and manly support to the work expected.
UNIBOA, as a true partner donates 5,000 USD to the project
As partner of the market-building project, The United Bassa Organization in the Americas, Mr. Toman T. Gboyah represented UNIBOA at the groundbreaking ceremony. Mr. Gboyah is Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, the chief liaison Officer of UNIBOA in Liberia.
“UNIBOA has always shown herself as a true partner to the well-being of the Bassa people”.
In his words, the Home Affairs Chairman of UNIBOA, Mr. Toman Gboyah told the highly expectant crowd that the money being provided was from people who have devoted their time to hard work in the United States and their only expectation from their kinsmen of Liberia, Bassa counties is to see a fruitful outcome of their resources.
Mr. Gboyah was ushered to the podium by several women with lappers on the ground and dance as well as shouts and a rousing welcome in the air.
Just the phrase ‘UNIBOA has packaged 5000…took the air for almost thirty minutes with a total fog in the air and dust on the grounds.
It was so surprising to note how many of the marketers had this explicit thought of the amount to be presented by their brothers and sisters in the United States.
Mr. Gboyah then recounted UNIBOA’s support to post war Liberia especially to the people of Bassa including the sea erosion donation amongst others. UNIBOA has ventured into several charity works for the Bassa counties, distributions of clothing, financial support to orphanage homes, scholarships to nursing students and support to victims of natural disasters etc.
Daniel Chea one time Defense Minister in the erstwhile Taylor administration is now the Community Relations Manager for one of Bassa’s old time plantations, the Liberian Agricultural Company.
Mr. Chea, believed to be one of Liberia’s longest serving National Defense Ministers presented an envelop of five hundred United states dollars on behalf of the company in fulfillment of their social responsibility to the county.
What turned later dramatic at the ceremony was when Mr. Chea swayed from military cloth to politics presenting for himself one hundred USD and promising to do more.
Sources have hinted newsmen that the former defense minister is contemplating on contesting for the senatorial seat of the county comes 2011.
Scores of masonry, carpenters and young folks are expected to contribute their quota to their homeland without any remittance of fund.
Several speakers at the program encouraged the young people to be independent in their judgment and play significant role in contributing to the development of their county.
Please click here to see beginning construction photos
About the Author
T. Alexander Beadlded is from Grand Bassa County. He is a graduate of St. Peter Claver Catholic School in Lower Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. Alexander is currently a student at the United Methodist University in Monrovia. Mr. Beadlded can be reached by email at: email@example.com