Road-Building for a New Liberia
After years of conflict, Liberia is on a new path to recovery. A wide array of multi-lateral agencies, including the International Labour Organization are on the scene to help. These efforts include the building of a road, which will link villages in Mount Barclay to the main market town. Not only will this stimulate the local agricultural economy, the labour-based construction method is also creating much needed jobs, as ILO TV reports.
For 14 years Liberia was a scene of conflict, leaving its economy and infrastructure in tatters.
Now it’s one of reconstruction and renewal: a new president, the first elected female head of state in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and here in Mount Barclay, a new road.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Liberia
The road will enable farmers to get their crops to market, they are talking about helping small business along the way, so that in itself will enable people to have an income, so to me it will make a big contribution to poverty reduction.
For now the road is mostly a footpath – impassable to motorized vehicles. On the new road, more products to market mean more money for local farmers.
The Dutch-funded project of the International Labour Organization is also creating much-needed jobs.
For Momo Diggs, it’s a chance to invest in his family’s future.
Momo Diggs, Bush cutter
My job is to cut bush on the road. With the money I am earning I want to support my children and send them to school.
The construction method is labour-based and requires minimal training. This makes the work accessible, especially to young people who have missed out on developing even basic skills because of the war.
Henry Danso, ILO International Engineer
The elderly we assigned to brushing and removal of the top soil, but when it comes to the digging we employed mainly the youth to do the work. We are not engaging anybody the whole day, we pay for their output not their time.
The ILO and other UN agencies are on the ground joining the forces of government and the private sector. Rebuilding a nation will take time, but the road ahead looks hopeful for Liberia.