Thursday, October 11, 2007

Brutal Roads

I have been a lot of places in Africa and have yet to find any that compare with the current state of roads in Monrovia. What an amazing transformation in their condition since I first arrived in June. Back then, one could move quickly thorough town. However, over the past four weeks the roads have deteriorated so rapidly that new "Daewoo swallowing" holes appear almost overnight. It is impossible to "know" the road, as its condition changes hourly! Everyone keeps talking about how when the dry season starts (very soon!) the government will begin repairing the roads. But even if they do massive road work, things will just continue to worsen; at least for several weeks. There are few alternate routes inside Monrovia proper, consequently everyone is funneled onto the same roads. Tonight we had a farewell dinner at the Royal hotel for one of the NCOs who departs next week. In July, it was about a 10-15 drive from Mamba Point. Tonight with light traffic it took us 29 minutes. The holes are so large that one has to wonder what damage the bouncing around does to internal organs (just kidding, well sort of....)

The bottom line here is no decent roads = no development or limited economic growth. I hope some donor or the government has a sound plan to remove the blacktop, properly grade the surface, lay correct drainage, pave at least six inches of blacktop and install sidewalks for the thousands of pedestrians! Well it is a dream at least.

No comments: